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Full text of "Secret history; or, The horrors of St. Domingo, in a series of letters, written by a lady at Cape Francois, to Colonel Burr, late vice-president of the United States, principally during the command of General Rochambeau"

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I AM fearful of having been led into an 
error by my friends, when taught by them to 
believe that I could write something which 
would interest and please ; and it was chiefly 
with a view to ascertain what confidence I 
might place in their khid assurances on this 
subject, that I collected and consented, though 
reluctantly, to the publication of these letters. 

Should a less partial public give them a 
favourable reception, and allow them to pos- 
sess some merit, it would encourage me to en- 
deavour to obtain their further approbation by 
a little work already planned and in some for- 


Philadelfihia^ JVov, 30th, 1807. 


Cape Francois. 

WE arrived safely here, my dear friend, 
after a passage of forty days, during which I 
suffered horribly from sea-sickness, heat and 
confinement ; but the society of my fellow- 
passengers was so agreeable that I often for- 
got the inconvenience to which I was exposed. 
It consisted of five or six French families who, 
having left St. Domingo at the beginning of 
the revolution, were now returning full of joy 
at the idea of again possessing the estates from 
which they had been driven by their revolted 
slaves. Buoyed by their newly awakened 
hopes they were all delightful anticipation. 
There is an elasticity in the French charac- 
ter which repels misfortune. They have an 
inexhaustible flow of spirits that bears them 
lightly through the ills of life. 


Towards the end of the voyage, when I 
was well enough to go on deck, I was delight- 
ed with the profound tranquillity of the ocean, 
the uninterrupted view, the beautiful horizon, 
and wished, since fate has separated me from 
those I love, that I could build a dwelling on 
the bosom of the waters, where, sheltered from 
the storms that agitate mankind, I should be 
exposed to those of heaven only. But a truce 
to melancholy reflections, for here I am in St. 
Domingo, with a new world opening to my 

My sister, whose fortunes, you know, I 
was obliged to follow, repents every day hav* 
ing so precipitately chosen a husband : it is 
impossible for two creatures to be more dif- 
ferent, and I foresee that she will be wretched. 

On landing, we found the town a heap of 
ruins. A more terrible picture of desolation 
cannot be imagined. Passing through streets 
choaked with rubbish, we reached with diffi- 
culty a house which had escaped the general 
fate. The people live in tents, or make a kind 
of shelter, by laying a few boards across the 
half- consumed beams j for the buildings being 


here of hewn stone, with walls three feet thick, 
only the roofs and floors have been destroyed. 
But to hear of the distress which these unfor- 
tunate people have suffered, would fill with 
horror the stoutest heart, and make the most 
obdurate melt with pity. 

When the French fleet appeared before 
the mouth of the harbour, Christophe, the 
Black general, who commanded at the Cape, 
rode through the town, ordering all the women 
to leave their houses — the men had been taken 
to the plain the day before, for he was going 
to set fire to the place, which he did with his 
own hand. 

The ladies, bearing their children in their 
arms, or supporting the trembling steps of 
their aged mothers, ascended in crowds the 
mountain which rises behind the town. Climb- 
ing over rocks covered with. brambles, where 
no path had been ever beat, their feet were torn 
to pieces and their steps marked with blood. 
Here they suffered all the pains of hunger and 
thirst; the most terrible apprehensions for their 
fathers, husbands, brothers and sons ; to which 
was added the sight of the town in flames: aiid 


even these horrors were increased by the ex- 
plosion of the powder magazine. Large mas- 
ses of rock were detached by the shock, which, 
rolling down the sides of the mountain, many 
of these hapless fugitives were killed. Others 
still more unfortunate, had their limbs broken 
or sadly bruised^ whilst their wretched com- 
panions could offer them nothing but unavail- 
ing sympathy and impotent regret. 

On the third day the negroes evacuated 
the place, and the fleet entered the harbour* 
Two gentlemen, who had been concealed by 
a faithful slave, went in a canoe to meet the 
admiral's vessel, and arrived in time to pre- 
vent a dreadful catastrophe. The general, 
seeing numbers of people descending the 
mountain, thought they were the negroes com« 
ing to oppose his landing and was preparing 
to fire on them, when these gentlemen inform- 
ed him that they were the white inhabitants, 
and thus prevented a mistake too shocking to 
be thought of. 

The men now entered from the plain and 
sought among the smoaking ruins the objects 
of their affectionate solicitude. To paint these 


heart-rending scenes of tenderness and woe, 
description has no powers. The imagination 
itself shrinks from the task. 

Three months after this period we arrived 
and have now been a month here, the town is 
rapidly rebuilding, but it is extremely difficult 
to find a lodging. The heat is intolerable and 
the season so unhealthy that the people die in 
incredible numbers. On the night of our ar- 
rival, Toussaint the general in chief of the ne- 
groes, was seized at the Gonaives and em- 
barked for France. This event caused great 
rejoicing. A short time before he was taken, 
he had his treasure buried in the woods, and 
at the return of the negroes he employed on 
this expedition, they were shot without being 
suffered to utter a word. 

Clara has had the yellow fever. Her hus- 
band, who certainly loves her very much, 
watched her with unceasing care, and I be- 
lieve, preserved her life, to which however she 
attaches no value since it must be passed with 

Nothing amuses her. She sighs continual- 
ly for the friend of her youth and seems to 

b 2 


exist only in the recollection of past happiness. 
Her aversion to her husband is unqualified and 
unconquerable. He is vain, illiterate, talkative. 
A silent fool may be borne, but from a loqua- 
cious one there ia no relief. How painful 
must her intercourse with him be ; and how 
infinitely must that pain be augmented by the 
idea of being his forever? Her elegant mind, 
stored with literary acquirements, is lost to 
him. Her proud soul is afflicted at depending 
on one she abhors, and at beholding her form, 
and you know that form so vilely bartered. 
Whilst on the continent she was less sensible 
of the horrors of her fate. The society of hei: 
friend gave a charm to her life,^ and having 
married in compliance with his advice, she 
thought tliat she would eventually be happy. 
But their separation has rent the veil which 
concealed her heart; she finds no sympathy iui 
the bosom of her husband. She is alone and 
she is \vretched. 

General Le Clerc is small, his face is in« 
teresting, but he has an appearance of ill 
health. His wife, the sister of Buonaparte,, 
&ves in a house on the mountain till there cam 

ST. D0MII7G0. 7 

be one in town prepared for her receptioHi^ 
She is offended, and I think justly, with the 
ladies of the Cape, who, from a mistaken pride, 
did not wait on her when she arrived, because 
having lost their cloaths they could not dazzle 
her with their finery. 

Having heard that there were some Ame^ 
rican ladies here she expressed a desire to see 
them; Mr. V — ^ proposed to present us; Clara, 
who would not walk a mile to see a queen ,^ 
declined. But I, who walk at all times, mere- 
ly for the pleasure it aifords me, went; and, 
considering the labour it costs to ascend the 
mountain, I have a claim on the gratitude of 
Madame for having undertaken it to shew her 
an object which she probably expected to find 
in a savage state. 

She was in a room darkened by Venetian 
blinds, lying on her sofa, from which she half 
rose to receive me. When I was seated she re« 
clined again on the sofa and amused general 
Boyer, who sat at her feet^ by letting her slip- 
per fall continually, which he respectfully put 
on as often as it fell. She is small, fair, with 
blue eyes and flaxen iiair* Her face is expres. 


sive of sweetness but without spirit. She has 
a voluptuous mouth, and is rendered interest- 
ing by an air of languor which spreads itself 
over her whole frame. She was dressed in a 
muslin morning gown, with a Madras hand- 
kerchief on her head. I gave her one of the 
beautiful silver medals of Washington, en- 
graved by Reich, with which she seemed 
much pleased. The conversation languished, 
and I soon withdrew. 

General Le Clerc had gone in the morning 
to fort Dauphin. 

I am always in good spirits, for every thing 
here charms me by its novelty. There are a 
thousand pretty things to be had, new fashions 
and elegant trinkets from Paris ; but we have 
no balls, no plays, and of what use is finery if 
it cannot be shewn? 

The natives of this country murmur alrea- 
dy against the general in chief; they say he 
places too much confidence in the negroes. 
When Toussaint was seized he had all the 
black chiefs in hi^ power, and, by embarking 
them for France, he would have spread terror 
throughout the Island, and the negroes would 


have been easily reduced, instead of which he 
relies on their good faith, has them continual- 
ly in his house, at his table, and wastes the 
time in conference which should be different- 
ly employed. The Creoles shake their heads 
and predict much ill. Accustomed to the cli- 
mate, and acquainted with the manner of fight- 
ing the Negroes, they offer advice, which is not 
listened to; nor are any of them employed, 
but all places of honour or emolument are 
held by Europeans, who appear to regard the 
Island as a place to be conquered and divided 
among the victors, and are consequently view- 
ed by the natives with a jealous eye. Indeed 
the professed intention of those who have come 
with the army, is to make a fortune, and return 
to France with ail possible speed, to enjoy it. 
It cannot be imagined that they will be very 
delicate about the means of accomplishing 
their purpose. 

The Cape is surrounded; at least the plain 
is held by the Negroes; but the town is tran- 
quil, and Dessalines and the other black chiefs 
are on the best terms with general Le Clerc. 

We are to have a grand review next week. 


The militia is to be organized, and the gene- 
ral is to address the troops on the field. He 
has the reputation of being very eloquent, but 
he has shocked every body by having ordered 
a superb service of plate, made of the money 
intended to pay the army, while the poor sol- 
diers, badly cloathed, and still more badly fed, 
are asking alms in the street, and absolutely 
dying of want. 

A beggar had never been known in this 
country, and to see them in such numbers, 
fills the inhabitants with horror; but why 
should such trifling considerations as the pre- 
servation of soldiers, prevent a general in chief 
from eating out of silver dishes? 

We have neither public nor private balls, 
nor any amusement except now and then a 
little scandal. The most current at this mo- 
ment is, that Madame Le Clerc is very kind 
to general Boyer, and that her husband is not 
content, which in a French husband is a little 
extraordinary. Perhaps the last part of the 
anecdote is calumny. 

Madame Le Clerc, as I learned from a 
gentleman who has long known her, betrayed 


Trom her earliest youtli a disposition to gallant- 
ry, and had, when very young, some adven- 
tures of eclat in Marseilles. Her brother, 
whose favourite she is, married her to general 
Le Clerc, to whom he gave the command of 
the army intended to sail for St. Domingo, 
after having given that island, as a marriage 
portion, to his sister. But her reluctance to 
come to this country was so great, that it was 
almost necessary to use force to oblige her to 

She has one child, a lovely boy, three years 
old, of which she appears very fond. But for 
a young and beautiful woman, accustomed to 
the sweets of adulation, and the intoxicating 
delights of Paris, certainly the transition to this 
country, in its present state, has been too vio- 
lent. She has no society, no amusement, and 
never having imagined that she would be 
forced to seek an equivalent for either in the 
resources of her own mind, she has made no 
provision for such an unforeseen emergency. 

She hates readmg, and though passionate- 
ly fond of music plays on no instrument ; ne- 
ver having stolen time from her pleasurable 


pursuits to devote to the acquisition of that 
divine art. She can do nothing but dance, 
and to dance alone is a triste resource; there- 
fore it cannot be surprising if her early pro- 
pensities predominate, and she listens to the 
tale of love breathed by General Boyer, for 
never did a more fascinating votary offer his 
vows at the Idalian shrine. His form and face 
are models of masculine perfection ; his eyes 
sparkle with enthusiasm, and his voice is mo- 
dulated by a sweetness of expression which 
camiot be heard without emotion. Thus si- 
tuated, and thus surrounded, her you-th and 
beauty plead for her, and those most disposed 
to condemn would exclaim on beholding her : 

" If to her share some female errors fall, 
Look in her face, and you'll forget them all." 

I suppose you'll laugh at this gossip, but 
'tis the news of the dav, nothing: is talked of 
but Madame Le Clerc, and envy and ill-na- 
ture pursue her because she is charming and 
surrounded by splendor. 

I have just now been reading Madame De 
Stael on the passions, which she describes 


very well, but I believe not precisely as she 
felt their influence. I have heard an anecdote 
of her which I admire ; a friend, to whom she 
had communicated her intention of publishing 
her memoirs, asked what she intended doing 
with the gallant part, — Oh, she replied, je ne 
me peindrai qu'en buste. 



Cape Francois. 

What a change has taken place here since 
my last letter was written ! I mentioned that 
there was to be a grand review, and I also 
mentioned that the confidence General Le 
Clerc placed in the negroes was highly blam- 
ed, and justly, as he has found to his cost. 

On the day of the review, when the troops 
of the line and the guarde nationale were as- 
sembled on the field, a plot was discovered, 
which had been formed by the negroes in the 
town, to seize the arsenal and to point the can- 
non of a fort, which overlooked the place of 
review, on the troops ; whilst Clairvaux, the 
mulatto general, who commanded the advanc- 
ed posts, was to join the negroes of the plain, 
overpower the guards, and entering the town, 
complete the destruction of the white inhabi- 


tants. The first part of the plot was discov- 
ered and defeated. But Clairvaiix made good 
his escape, and in the evening attacked the 
post General Le Cierc had so imprudently- 
confided to him. The consternation was 
terrible. The guarde nationale, composed 
chiefiy of Creoles, did wonders. The Ame- 
rican captains and sailors volunteered their 
services ; they fought bravely, and many of 
them perished. The negroes were repulsed; 
but if they gained no ground they lost none, 
and they occupy at present the same posts as 
before. The pusillanimous General Le Clerc, 
shrinking from danger of which his own im- 
prudence had been the cause, thought only of 
saving himself. He sent his plate and valu- 
able effects on board the admiral's vessel, and 
was preparing to embark secretly with his 
suite, but the brave admiral La Touche de 
Treville sent him word that he would fire with 
more pleasure on those who abandoned the 
tov^^, than on those who attacked it. 

The ensuing morning presented a dread- 
ful spectacle. Nothing was heard but the 
groans of the wounded, who were caiTied 


through the streets to their homes, and the cries 
of the women for their friends who were slain. 

The general, shut up in his house, would 
see nobody ; ashamed of the weakness which 
had led to this disastrous event, and of the 
w^ant of courage he had betrayed : a fever 
seized him and he died in three days. 

Madame Le Clerc, who had not loved him 
whilst living, mourned Ms death like the 
Ephesian matron, cut off her hair, which was 
very beautiful, to put it in his coffin ; refused 
all sustenance and all public consolation. 

General Rochambeau, who is at Port au 
Prince, has been sent for by the inhabitants of 
the Cape to take the command. Much good 
is expected from the change, he is said to be 
a brave officer and an excellent man. 

Monsieur D'Or is in the interim Captain 
General, and unites in himself the three prin- 
cipal places in the government : Prefect Co- 
lonial, Ordonnateur, and General in Chief. 

All this bustle would be delightful if it 
was not attended with such melancholy con- 
sequences. It keeps us from petrifying, of 
which I was in danger. 



I have become acquainted with some Cre- 
ole ladies who, having staid in the Island dur- 
ing the revolution, relate their suiferings in a 
manner which harrows up the soulj and dwell 
on the recollection of their long lost happiness 
with melancholy delight. St. Domingo was 
formerly a garden. Every inhabitant lived on 
his estate like a Sovereign ruling his slaves 
with despotic sway, enjoying all that luxury 
could invent, or fortune procure. 

The pleasures of the table were carried to 
the rast degree of refinement. Gaming knew 
no bounds, and libertinism, called love, was 
without restraint. The Creole is generous 
hospitable, magnificent, but vain, inconstant, 
and incapable of serious application ; and in 
this abode of pleasure and luxurious ease vices 
have reigned at which humanity must shudder. 
The jealousy of the women was often terrible 
in its consequences. One lady, who had a 
beautiful negro girl continually about her per- 
son, thought she saw some symptoms of ten- 
(Iresse in the eyes of her husband, and all the 
furies of jealousy seized her soul. 

She ordered one of her slaves to cut off the 


head of the unfortunate victim, which was in- 
stantly done. At dinner her husband said he 
felt no disposition to eat, to which his wife, 
with the air of a demon, replied, perhaps I can 
give you something that will excite your ap- 
petite ; it has at least had that effect before. 
She rose and drew from a closet the head of 
Coomba. The husband, shocked beyond ex- 
pression, left the house and sailed immediately 
for France, in order never again to behold such 
a monster. 

Many similar anecdotes have been related 
by my Creole friends ; but one of them, after 
having excited my warmest sympathy, made 
me laugh heartily in the midst of my tears. 
She told me that her husband was stabbed in 
her arms by a slave whom he had always treat- 
ed as his brother ; that she had seen her chil- 
dren killed, and her house burned, but had 
been herself preserved by a faithful slave, and 
conducted, after incredible suiFerings, and 
through innumerable dangers to the Cape. 
The same slave, she added, and the idea seem- 
ed to console her for every other loss, saved 
all my madrass handkerchiefs. 


The Creole ladies have an air of voluptu- 
ous languor which renders them extremely 
interesting. Their eyes, their teeth, and their 
hair are remarkably beautiful, and they have 
acquired from the habit of commanding their 
slaves, an air of dignity which adds to their 
charms. Almost too indolent to pronounce 
their words they speak with a drawling accent 
that is very agreeable : but since they have 
been roused by the pressure of misfortune 
many of them have displayed talents and found 
resources in the energy of their own minds 
which it would have been supposed impossible 
for them to possess. 

They have naturally a taste for music; 
dance with a lightness, a grace, an elegance 
peculiar to themselves, and those who, ha- 
ving been educated in France, unite the French 
vivacity to the Creole sweetness, are the most 
irresistible creatures that the imagination can 
conceive. In the ordinary intercourse of life 
they are delightful; but if I wanted a friend on 
any extraordinary occasion I would not ven- 
ture to rely on their stability. 



Cape Francois, 

The so much desired general Rochambeau 
is at length here. His arrival was announced, 
not by the ringing of bells, for they have none, 
but by the firing of cannon. Every body, ex- 
cept myself went to see him land, and I was 
prevented, not by want of curiosity, but by in- 
disposition. Nothing is heard of but the pub- 
lic joy. He is considered as the guardian, as 
the saviour of the people. Every proprietor 
feels himself already on his habitation and I 
have even heard some of them disputing about 
the quality of the coffee they expect soon to 
gather ; perhaps these sanguine Creoles may 
find that they have reckoned without their host. 

However, en attendant^ the General, who 
it seems bears pleasure as well as conquest in 


liis train, gives a grand ball on Thursday next. 
We are invited, and we go. 

Clara is delighted ! for the first time since 
our arrival her eyes brightened at receiving the 
invitation, and the important subject of what 
colours are to be worn, what fashions adopted, 
is continually discussed. Her husband, whose 
chief pleasure is to see her brilliant, indulges 
all the extravagance of her capricious taste. 
She sighs for conquest because she is a stran- 
ger to content, and will enter into every scheme 
of dissipation with eagerness to forget for a 
moment her internal wretchedness. She is 
unhappy, though surrounded by splendor, be* 
cause from the constitution of her mind she 
cannot derive happiness from an object that 
does not interest her heart. 

My letter shall not be closed till after the 
ball of which I suppose you will be glad to 
have a description. 

But why do you not write to me ? 

I am ignorant of your pursuits and even 
of the place of your abode, and though con- 
vinced that you cannot forget me, I am afflic= 


ted if I do not receive assurances of your friend- 
ship by every vessel that arrives ! 

Clara has not written, for nothing has hi- 
therto had power to rouse her from the lethar- 
gy into which she had sunk. Perhaps the 
scenes of gaiety in which she is now going to 
engage may dispell the gloom which threaten- 
ed to destroy all the energy of her charming 
mind. Perhaps too these scenes may be more 
fatal to her peace than the gloom of which I 
complain, for in this miserable world we know 
not what to desire. The accomplishment of 
our wishes is often a real misfortune. We 
pass our lives in searching after happiness, 
and how many die without having found it ! 

In Continuation, 

Well my dear friend the ball is over — that 
ball of which I promised you a description. 
But who can describe the heat or suffocating 
sensations felt in a crowd ? 

The General has an agreeable face, a sweet 
mouth, and most enchanting smile ; but 

^* Like the sun, he shone on all alike," 


and paid no particular attention to any object. 
His uniform was a la hussar ^ and very brilliant; 
he wore red boots: — but his person is bad, he 
is too short ; a Bacchus-like figure, which ac- 
cords neither with my idea of a great General 
nor a great man. 

But you know one of my faults is to create 
objects in my imagination on the model of my 
incomparable friend, and then to dislike every 
thing I meet because it falls short of my expec- 

I was disappointed at the ball, because I 
was confounded in the crowd, but my disap- 
pointment was trifling compared with that 
felt by Clara. Accustomed to admiration she 
expected to receive it on this occasion in no 
moderate portion, and to find herself undis- 
tinguished was not flattering. She did not 
dance, staid only an hour, and has declared 
against all balls in future. But there is one 
announced by the Admiral which may perhaps 
induce her. to change her resolution. 

Madame Le Clerc has sailed for France 
with the body of her huflband, which was em- 
balmed here. 


The place is tranquil. The arrival of Ge- 
neral Rochambeau seems to have spread terror 
among the negroes. I wish they were reduced 
to order that I might see the so much vaunted 
habitations where I should repose beneath the 
shade of orange groves ; walk on carpets of 
rose leaves and frenchipone ; be fanned to sleep 
by silent slaves, or have my feet tickled into 
extacy by the soft hand of a female attendant. 

Such were the pleasures of the Creole ladies 
whose time was divided between the bath, the 
table, the toilette and the lover. 

What a defightful existence ! thus to pass 
away life in the arms of voluptuous indolence; 
to wander over flowery fields of unfading ver- 
dure, or through forests of majestic palm- trees, 
sit by a fountain bursting from a savage rock 
frequented only by the cooing dove, and in- 
dulge in these enchanting solitudes all the re- 
veries of an exalted imagination. 

But the moment of enjoying these plea- 
sures is, 1 fear, far distant. The negroes have 
felt during ten years the blessing of liberty, 
for a blessing it certainly is, however acquired, 
and they will not be easily deprived of it. they 


have fought and vanquished the French troops, 
and their strengh has increased from a know- 
ledge of the weakness of their opposers, and 
the climate itself combats for them. Inured 
to a savage Hfe they lay in the woods without 
being injured by the sun, the dew or the rain. 
A negro eats a plantain, a sour orange, the 
herbs and roots of the field, and requires no 
cloathing, whilst this mode of living is fatal to the 
European soldiers. The sun and the dew are 
equally fatal to them, and they have perished 
in such numbers that, if reinforcements do 
not arrive, it will soon be impossible to defend 
the town. 

The country is entirely in the hands of the 
negroes, and whilst their camp abounds in 
provisions, every thing in town is extremely 
scarce and enormously dear. 

Every evening several old Creoles, who 
live near us, assemble at our house, and talk 
of their affairs. One of them, whose annual 
income before the revolution was fifty thou- 
sand dollars, which he always exceeded in his 
expenses, now lives in a miserable hut and 
prolongs with the greatest difficulty his wretch- 


ed existence. Yet he still hopes for better 
days, in which hope they all join him. The 
distress they feel has not deprived them of 
their gaiety. They laugh, they sing, they join 
4n the dance with the young girls of the neigh- 
bourhood, and seem to forget their cares in the 
prospect of having them speedily removed. 



Cape Francois, 

The ball announced by the admiral ex- 
ceeded all expectations and we are still all ex- 
tacy. Boats, covered with carpets, conveyed 
the company from the shore to the vessel, 
which was anchored about half a mile from 
the land, and on entering the ball room a fairy 
palace presented itself to the view. The decks 
were floored in ; a roof of canvas was suspen- 
ded over the whole length of the vessel, which 
reached the floor on each side, and formed a 
beautiful apartment. Innumerable lustres of 
chrystal and wreaths of natural flowers orna- 
mented the cieling; and rose and orange-trees, 
in full blossom, ranged round the room, filled 
the air with fragrance. The seats were ele- 
vated, and separated from the part appropri- 
ated to dancing, by a light balustrade* A gal- 

d 2 


lery for the musicians was placed round the 
main-mast, and the whole presented to the eye 
an elegant saloon, raised by magic in a wil- 
derness of sweets. Clara and myself, accom- 
panied by her husband and Major B , 

were among the first who arrived. Never had 
I beheld her so interesting. A robe of white 
crape shewed to advantage the contours of her 
elegant person. Her arms and bosom were 
bare ; her black hair, fastened on the top with 
a brilliant comb, was ornamented by a rose 
which seemed to have been thrown there by 

We were presented to the admiral, who 
appeared struck by the figure of Clara, and 
was saying some very flattering things, when 
a flourish of martial music announced the ar- 
rival of the General in chief. The admiral 
hastened to meet him, and they walked round 
the room together. 

When the dances began the general leaned 
against the orchestra opposite Clara. Her eyes 
met his. She bent them to the ground, raised 
them timidly and found those of the general 
iix€d on her : a glow of crimson suffused itself 

Sr. DOMINGO. 31 

over her face and bosom. I observed her at- 
tentively and knew it was the flush of triumph ! 
She declined dancing, but when the walses 
began she was led out. Those who have not 
seen Clara walse know not half her charms. 
There is a physiognomy in her form ! every 
motion is full of soul. The gracefulness of 
her arms is unequalled, and she is lighter than 

The eyes of the general dwelt on her alone, 
and I heard him inquire of several who she 

The walse finished, she walked round the 

room leaning on the arm of Major B . 

The general followed, and meeting her hus- 
band, asked (pointing to Clara) if he knew the 
name of that lady. Madame St. Louis, was 
the reply. I thought she was an American said 
the general. So she is, replied St Louis, but 
her husband is a Frenchman. That's true, ad- 
ded the general, but they say he is a d d 

jealous fool, is he here ? He has the honour of 
answering you, said St Louis. The general 
was embarrassed for a moment, but recover- 
ing himself said, I am not surprised at your 


being jealous, for she is a charming creature. 
And he continued uttering so many flattering 
things that St. Louis was in the best humour 
imaginable. When Clara heard the story, 
she laughed, and, I saw, was delighted with 
a conquest she now considered assured. 

When she sat down. Major B pre- 
sented the General to her, and his pointed at- 
tention rendered her the object of universal 
admiration. He retired at midnight : the ball 
continued. An elegant collation was served 
up, and at sunrise we returned home ! 

The admiral is a very agreeable man, and 
I would prefer him, as a lover, to any of his 
officers, though he is sixty years old. His 
manners are affable and perfectly elegant; his 
figure graceful and dignified, and his conver- 
sation sprightly. He joined the dance at the 
request of a lady, with all the spirit of youth, 
and appeared to enjoy the pleasure which his 
charming fete diffused. 

He told Clara that he would twine a wreath 
of myrtle to crown her, for she had vanquish- 
ed the General. She replied, that she would 
mingle it with laurel, and lay it at his feet for 


having, by preserving the Cape, given her an 
opportunity of making the conquest. 

Nothing is heard of but balls and parties. 
Monsieur D'Or gives a concert every Thurs- 
day ; the General in chief every Sunday : so 
that from having had no amusement we are in 
danger of falling into the other extreme, and 
of being satiated with pleasure. 

The Negroes remain pretty tranquil in 
this quarter; but at Port-au-Prince, and in its 
neighbourhood, they have been very trouble- 

Jeremie, Les Cayes, and all that part of the 
island which had been preserved, during the 
revolution, by the exertions of the inhabitants, 
have been lost since the appearance of the 
French troops ! . 

The Creoles complain, and they have 
cause ; for they find in the army sent to de- 
fend them, oppressors who appear to seek 
their destruction. Their houses and their ne- 
groes are put under requisition, and they are 
daily exposed to new vexations. 

Some of the ancient inhabitants of the 
island, who had emigrated, begin to think 


that their hopes were too sanguine, and that 
they have returned too soon from the peace- 
ful retreats they found on the continent. They 
had supposed that the appearance of an army 
of thirty thousand men would have reduced 
the negroes to order; but these conquerors of 
Italy, unnerved by the climate, or from some 
other cause, lose all their energy, and fly be- 
fore the undisciplined slaves. 

Many of the Creoles, who had remained 
on the island during the reign of Toussaint, 
regret the change, and say that they were less 
vexed by the negroes than by those who have 
come to protect them. 

And these negroes, notwithstanding the 
state of brutal subjection in which they were 
kept, have at length acquired a knowledge of 
their own strength. More than five hundred 
thousand broke the yoke imposed on them by 
a few thousand men of a different colour, and 
claimed the rights of which they had been so 
cruelly deprived. Unfortunate were those 
who witnessed the horrible catastrophe which 
accompanied the first wild transports of free- 
dom 1 Dearly have they paid for the luxuri- 


ous ease in which they revelled at the expense 
of these oppressed creatures. Yet even among 
these slaves, self-emancipated, and rendered 
furious by a desire of vengeance, examples of 
fidelity and attachment to their masters have 
been found, which do honour to human na* 

For my part, I am all anxiety to return to 
the continent. Accustomed from my earliest 
infancy to wander on the delightful banks of 
the Schuylkill, to meet the keen air on Ken- 
sington bridge, and to ramble over the fields 
which surround Philadelphia, I feel like a 
prisoner in this little place, built on a narrow 
strip of land between the sea and a mountain 
that rises perpendicularly behind the town. 
There is to be sure an opening on one side to 
the plain, but the negroes are there encamp- 
ed ; they keep the ground of which general 
Le Clerc suiFered them to take possession, 
and threaten daily to attack the town ! 

There is no scarcity of beaux here, but 
the gallantry of the French officers is fatiguing 
from its sameness. They think their appear- 
ance alone sufficient to secure a conquest, and 


do not conceive it necessary to give their 
yielding mistresses a decent excuse by pay- 
ing them a little attention. In three days a 
love-aiFair is begun and finished and forgot- 
ten; the first is for the declaration, the se- 
cond is the day of triumph if it is deferred so 
long, and the third is for the adieu. 

The Creoles do not relish the attacks made 
on their wives by the officers. The husband 
of Clara in particular is as jealous as a Turk, 
and has more than once shewn his displeasure 
at the pointed attentions of the General-in- 
chief to his wife, which she encourages, out 
of contradiction to her husband rather than 
from any pleasure they afford her. The bois- 
terous gaiety and soldier^like manners of ge- 
neral Rochambeau, can have made no impres- 
sion on a heart tender and delicate as is that 
of Clara. But there is a vein of coquetry in 
her composition which, if indulged, will even- 
tually destroy her peace. 

A tragical event happened lately at Port- 
au-Prince. At a public breakfast, given by 
the commandant, an officer just arrived from 
France., addressing himself to a lady, called 


her citoyenne, — The lady observed that she 
would never answer to thai' title. The stran- 
ger replied that she ought to be proud of be- 
ing so called. On which her husband, inter- 
fering, said that his wife should never answer 
to any mode of address that she found dis- 
pleasing. No more passed at that time, but 
before noon Monsieur C received a chal- 
lenge : the choice of weapons being left to 
him, he said that it was absolutely indiiferent: 
the stranger insisted on fighting with a rifle ; 

Monsieur C replied that he should have 

no objection to fight with a cannon : it was 
liowever, finally settled, that the afiair should 
be decided with pistols ; and at sun-rise next 
morning they met : the ofiicer fired without 

effect. Monsieur C , with surer aim laid 

his antagonist lifeless on the ground. 

On what trifles depends the destiny of 
man ! but the Europeans are so insolent that 
u few such lessons are absolutely necessary to 
correct them. 

Monsieur C is a Creole, and belong- 
ed to the Staff" of the general who commands 
at Port-au-Prince, from which he has been 

38 HORRORS or 

dismissed in consequence of this afFair, which 
is anotjipvproQ&riltoe hatred the French offi- 
cers bear the inhabitants of this country. 

We have here a General of division, vv^ho 
is enriching himself by all possible means, 
and with such unblushing rapacity, that he is 
universally detested. He was a blacksmith 
before the revolution, and his present pursuits 
bear some affinity to his original employment, 
having taken possession of a plantation on 
which he makes charcoal, and which he sells 
to the amount of a hundred dollars a day. A 
carricature has appeared in which he is repre- 
sented tying up sacks of coal. Madame A-r*, 
his mistress, standing near him, holds up his 
embroidered coat and says, "Don't soil your- 
'* self, General." 



Cape Francois, 

Three of your letters arriving at the same 
time, my dear friend, have made me blush for 
my impatience, and force me to acknowledge 
that I have wronged you. --But your friend- 
ship is so necessary to my happiness that the 
idea of losing it is insupportable. You know 
what clouds of misfortune have obscured my 
life. An orphan without friends, without sup- 
port, separated from my sister from my infan- 
cy, and, at an age when the heart is most alive 
to tenderness and affection, deprived by the 
unrelenting hand of death, of him who had 
taught me to feel all the transports of passion, 
and for whose loss I felt all its despair — Cast 
on the world without an asylum, without re- 
source, I met you: — you raised me — soothed 
me— whispered peace to my lacerated breast! 


Ah ! can I ever forget that delightful moment 
when your care saved me ? It was so long 
since I had known sympathy or consolation 
that my astonished soul knew not how to 
receive the enchanting visitants; fleeting as 
fervent was my joy : but let me not repine ! 
Your friendship has shed a ray of light on 
my solitary way, and though removed from 
the influence of your immediate presence, I 
exist only in the hope of seeing you again. 

In restoring me to-' my sister, at the mo- 
ment of her m^i^g4> you procured for me a 
home not only respectable, but in which all 
the charms of fashionable elegance, all the at- 
tractions of pleasure are united. Unfortu- 
nately, Clara, amidst these intoxicating scenes 
of ever- varying amusement, and attended by 
crowds, who offer her the incense of adulation, 
is wretched, and I cannot be happy ! 

You know her early habits have been dif- 
ferent from mine ; affluence might have been 
thought necessary to her, yet the sensibiHty 
of her heart rejects the futile splendour that 
surrounds her, and the tears that often stain 


her brilliant robes, shew that they cover a bo- 
som to which peace is a stranger ! 

The fortune of her husband was his only 
advantage. The friend who had been charg- 
ed with Clara from her infancy had accustom- 
ed her to enjoy the sweets of opulence, and 
thought nothing more desir-able than to place 
her in a situation where she could still com- 
mand them. Alas her happiness has been the 
sacrifice of his mistaken, though well meant, 
intentions. St. Louis is too sensible of the 
real superiority of his wife not to set some 
value on that which he derives from his mo- 
ney, and tears of bitterest regret often fill her 
eyes when contemplating the splendor which 
has been so dearly purchased. Though to me 
he has been invariably kind yet my heart is torn 
with regret at the torments which his irascible 
temper inflict on his wife. They force her to 
seek relief in the paths of pleasure, whilst des- 
tined by nature to embellish the sphere of do- 
mestic felicity. 

E 2 


Cape Francois, 

General Rochambeau has given Clara a 
proof of his attention to her wishes at once 
delicate and flattering. She ^ined with a large 
party at the Governmeift-Iioupe, where, as 
usual, he was entirely devoted to her. After 
dinner, he led her, followed by the company, 
to a saloon, that was fitting up for a dining- 
room. It was ornamented with military tro- 
phies, and on every pannel was vn'itten the 
name of some distinguished chief. 

On one Buonaparte, on agpther Fredkji 
on another Massena, &c. ^F^ "* 

Clara said it was very pretty, but tha|4,^^t 
Washington should also have found a place 
there ! 

A few days after, a grand ball was given, 


and, on entering the ball-room, we saw, on a 
pannel facing the door, 

Washington, Liberty, and Independence! 

This merited a smile, and the general re- 
ceived a most gracious one. It was new- 
year's eve. When the clock struck twelve, 
Clara, approaching the general, took a rose 
from her bosom, saying; leW]^ be the first to 
wish you a happy new-year, and to offer you 
les etrennes. ..^ , ^.,4 ^. 

He topk. t^^:|[^s^'^passed it across his lips, 
and put it in hi§»Dosom. 

The next morning, an officer called on her, 
and presented her a pacquet in the name of 
the general in chief. On opening it she found 
a brilliant cross, with a superb chain, accom- 
< pafied by an elegant billet, praying her accept- 
ance of theselM^egj^ /^ 
"^ Take it back, she exclaimed, I gave the 
general a flower, and will accept nothing of 
greater value. — The officer refused, and, as 
the eyes of her husband expressed no disap- 
probation, she kept it. 

We have since learned that it is customa- ^ 


ly to make at this season, magnificent pre- 
sents, and this accounts for the passiveness of 
St. Louis on this occasion. 

Shortly aftef, at a breakfast given by Ma- 
dame A , Clar^;^peared with her bril- 
liant cross : the General was there. 

When they sat down to table, he offered 
her an apple, which she declined accepting. 
Take it, said he, for on Mount Ida I would 
have given it to you, and in Eden I would 
have taken it from you. 

She replied laughing, no, no ; since you 
attach so much value to your apple I certainly 
will not accept it, for I wish equally to avoid 
discord and temptation. 

Her husband looked displeased, and with- 
drew as soon as possible. 

On their return home, he told her that Her 
flirting with the General, if carried much far- 
ther, would probably cost her too dear. She 
became serious, and I foresee the approaching 
destruction of all domestic tranquillity. 

Clara, proud and high spirited, will sub- 
mit to no control. If her husband reposed 
confidence in her she would not abuse it. But 


his soul cannot raise itself to a level with that 
of his wife, and he will strive in vain to re- 
duce her to that of his own. ' -£^. 

He has declared that shS shajl go to no 
more balls ; and she l^|^€feitr.ed as peremp- 
torily, that she will go where she pleases. So 
on the first public occasion there will be a 
contest for supremacy, which will decide for- 
ever the empire of the party that conquers. 

Their jarrings distress me beyond mea- 
sure. I had hoped to find tranquillity with 
my sister, but alas ! she is herself a stranger 
to it. 

I have no pleasure but that which the re- 
collection of your friendship affords, which 
will be dear to my heart whilst that heart is 
conscious of feeling or affection. 



Cape Francois, 

The brigands have at length made the at- 
tack they so long threatened, and we have 
been terribly alarmed. 

On Thursday last, one party approached 
the fort before day break, whilst another, 
passing behind the barrier, which is at the en- 
trance of the plain, unobserved by the guards 
surprised fort Belleair, which stands on an ele- 
vation adjoining the town, and killed the offi- 
cer and twelve soldiers. The wife of the of- 
ficer, who commanded that post, had gone, 
the day before to stay with her husband. Her- 
self and her child were pierced by the same 
bayonet. The body of the officer lay across 
the bed, as if he had died in the act of defend- 
ing them. 

The negroes were advancing silently into 


the town, when they were discovered by a cen- 
tinel who gave the alarm. 

The troops rushed to arms. The Brigands 
were repulsed : but those who had taken pos- 
session of fort Belleair made a vigorous resist- 

St. Louis, who commands a company in the 
guarde nationale, was the first on the field. 
It was discovered that the negroes in the town 
intended to join those who attacked it from 
without and to kill the women and children, 
who where shut up in their houses, without 
any one to defend them ; but the patroles of 
the guarde d'honneur prevented, by their vi- 
gilance, the execution of this design. 

At nine o'clock the general sent to tell 
Clara that the part of the town she lived in 
being very much exposed, she had better come 
to his house and he would send her on board 
the admiral's vessel. 

She replied that it was impossible for her 
to go, her husband having desired her on no 
account to leave the house ; therefore she 
added, " Here I must stay if I am sure to 


The action continued at the barrier and ad- 
vanced posts during the day. The negroeSj 
depending on their numbers, seemed deter- 
mined to decide at once the fate of the town, 
and we passed the day in a situation which I 
cannot describe. 

In the evening the general sent an officer 
to tell Clara that he had some news from her 
husband which he could communicate to none 
but herself. 

The first idea that presented itself was, 
that St. Louis had been killed. She seized 
my arm and without waiting to take even a 
veil hurried out of the house. 

A gloomy silence reigned throughout the 
streets. She arrived breathless at the govern- 
ment house. The general met her in the hall, 
took her gravely by the hand and led her into 
a parlor. 

What have you to tell me ? she cried^ 
where is St. Louis ? 

Calm your spirits said the general. Your 
agitation renders you unfit to hear any thing ! 
But seeing that his hesitation encreased her 
distress, he said, laughing, your husband is 


well, has behaved gallantly, and seems invul- 
nerable ; for though numbers have been killed 
and wounded at his post, he has remained un- 
hurt ! 

Then why, she asked, have you alarmed 
me so unnecessarily, and made me come here, 
when you knew he had desired me not to leave 
the house ? He will never believe my motive 
for coming, and I shall be killed ! 

The general strove to soothe her, said that 
it would be highly improper to pass the night 
in her house, that several ladies had embark- 
ed, and that she must go on board, which she 
positively declined. 

At that moment the officer who had ac- 
companied us, entered, and presenting some 
papers to the general, they both went into ano- 
ther room. 

Directly after the general called Clara. 
She went, and I followed her. He was alone, 
and looked as if he thought me an intruder, 
but I continued at her side. 

The papers he held in his hand were dis- 
patches from the camp. He told her that St. 
Louis would remain out all night, and again 

ST. DOMINGO. .5,1 

requested her to think of her own safety. 
But she would not listen to his proposal of 
sending her on board ; and, attended by the of- 
ficer who had accompanied us, we returned 

Whilst the general was talking with Clara, 
I examined the apartment, which had been 
Madame Le Clerc's dressing-room. 

The sofas and curtains were of blue sattin 
with silver fringe. A door, which stood open, 
led into the bedchamber. The canopy of the 
bed Vv^as in the form of a shell, from which 
little cupids descending held back with one 
hand, curtains of white sattin trimmed with 
gold, and pointed with the other to a large 
mirror which formed the tester. On a table, 
in the form of an altar, which stood near the 
bed, was an alabaster figure representing si- 
lence, with a finger on its lips, and bearing in 
its hand a waxen taper. 

The first thing we heard on our return 
was that a soldier, sent by St. Louis, had en- 
quired for Clara, and not finding her, had re- 
turned immediately to the camp. 



She was distressed beyond measure, and 
exclaimed, '' I had better go forever, for St. 
^ 'Louis will kill me ! " 

I endeavoured to console her, though I felt 
that her apprehensions were not groundless. 
She passed the night in agony, and awaited 
the return of her husband in the most painful 

At ten the next morning he arrived, ha- 
ving left his post without orders, and thus 
exposed himself to all the rigours of a court- 

He was trembling with rage, transported 
with fury, and had more the air of a demon 
than a man. 

I know your conduct madam, he cried, on 
entering, you left the house contrary to my 
desire ; but I shall find means of punishing 
you, and of covering with shame the monster 
who has sought to destroy me ! 

He seized her by the arm, and dragging 
her into a little dressing-room at the end of 
the gallery, locked her in, and, taking tlie key 
in his pocket, went to the government house, 
and without waiting till the officers in the an= 



tichamber announced him, entered the room 
where the general was alone, reclining on a 
sofa, who arose, and approaching him fami- 
liarly said, '* St. Louis, I am glad to see you, 
and was just thinking of you ; but did not 
know that you had been relieved." 

I have not been relieved, replied St. Louis, 
but have left a post where I was most unjust- 
ly placed and kept all night, to give you an 
opportunity of accomplishing your infernal 
designs. You expected, no doubt, that I 
would have shared the fate of my brave com- 
panions, which I have escaped, and am here 
to tell you what every body believes but which 
no body dares utter, that you are a villain ! — ^ 
I know to what I am exposed in consequence 
of leaving my post. You are my superior, it 
is true ; but if you are not a coward you will 
wave all distinction, and give me the satisfac- 
tion due to a gentleman you have injured. 

He then walked hastily away, before the 
general could recover from his surprise. 

The officer, who had accompanied us the 
night before, followed and attempted to soothe 

I 2 

54 StORROilS ©F 

He said that he had been sent by the ge- 
neral to take Clara to his house because the 
part of the town in which she lived was abso- 
lutely unsafe, and that he had used a little 
stratagem to induce her to come, but that she 
had absolutely refused staying ; — that Made- 
moiselle, (meaning my ladyship) had gone 
with her, and that he had not left her till he 
had conducted her home. 

This a little softened the rage of St. Louis ! 
He has a good opinion of this young man, who 
by the bye, is a charming creature. They 
entered the house together. I was alone, and 
joined my assurances to those of the officer, 
that we had not quitted Clara an instant. 

He was now sorry for having treated her 
so harshly ; but did not regret the scene that 
had passed at the general's. 

At this moment a soldier entered, who told 
him that they had been relieved directly after 
he had left them, and that no notice had been 
taken of his departure. 

I now learned that St. Louis, with sixty 
men, had been placed in the most advanced 
post, on the very summit of the mountain. 

ST. DOMING©. 55 

%vhere they were crowded together on the point 
of a rock. In this disadvantageous position, 
they had been attacked by the negroes ; forty 
men were killed ; and the troops of the line, 
who were a little lower down, had offered them 
no assistance. It being the first time that the 
guarde nationale had been placed before the 
troops of the line the common opinion is, that 
it was the general's intention to have St. Louis 
destroyed, as it was by his order that he was 
so stationed, and kept there all night, though 
the other posts had been relieved at midnight. 

St. Louis forgot his rage and his sufferings 
in the assurance that Clara had not been faith- 
less. He went to the room in which he had 
confined her, threw himself at her feet, and 
burst into tears. 

Clara, affected by his pain, or ashamed of 
having so tormented him, — or fatigued with 
their eternal broils, leaned over him, and min- 
gled her tears with his. 

When the violence of her emotion subsid- 
ed, she entreated him to forgive the inconside- 
rateness of her conduct, and vowed that she 
would never again offend him. — But you have 


destroyed yourself, she continued, the general 
will never pardon you : let us leave this hated 
country, w^here tranquillity is unknown. 

After much debate, it was agreed that he 
should send us to Philadelphia, and that he 
would follow himself as soon as he had ar- 
ranged his affairs. 

Clara keeps her room and sees nobody, 
her husband is in despair at parting with her, 
but proposes following her immediately. 

We embark in ten days. What power 
shall I invoke to grant us favourable winds ? 
Whose protection solicit to conduct me spee- 
dily to my native shores, and to the society of 
my friends ? 

ST. BOMING«>- 5w7 


Cape Francois. 

We are still here, my dear friend, and my 
disappointment and vexation have been so 
great, that ten days have passed since I have 
written a single hne. 

The general, thinking Clara was sent away 
against her will, and determined to thwart the 
intentions of her husband, laid an embargo on 
all the vessels in the port. 

St. Louis raved, and swore she should not 
leave her room till he conducted her on board. 

To prevent all intercourse from without, 
he keeps her locked up in a small room, ad- 
joining her chamber. — Nobody, not even my- 
self, can see her, except in his presence ; and 
thus all confidence is at an end between them. 

She weeps continually, and I am afraid the 
torments she suffers will destroy her health. 


St. Louis is unworthy of her : he thinks 
it possible to force her to love him : — How 
much more would a generous confidence in- 
fluence a heart like her's ! 

Many of his friends have represented to 
him the impropriety of his conduct. The 
challenge he gave general Rochambeau filled 
every body with terror, for it exposed him to 
certain death. To have left his post without 
orders was a crime equally serious ; and, if 
the general has passed them both over in si> 
lence, it is supposed that his vengeance only 
slumbers for a time to be more sure in its ef- 

He thinks Clara attached to the general. 
I know she is not ! her vanity alone has been 
interested. To be admired was her aim, and 
she knew that, by attracting the notice of the 
general in chief, her end would be accomplish- 
ed. She succeeded even beyond her wishes, 
but it has been a dangerous experiment ; and 
will cost her, I fear, the small portion of do- 
mestic />^f?£?e she enjoyed. — Uomcstic /elicit i/ 
she never knew ! I am convinced that she 


has never been less happy than since her mar- 
riage ! 

Nothing can be more brutal than St. Louis 
in his rage ! The da}^ of his affair with the 
general, he threw her on the ground, and then 
dragged her by the hair :■ — I flew to her, but 
his aspect so terrified me that I was obliged 
to withdraw : and when his fits of tenderness 
return he is as bad in the other extreme. He 
kneels before her, entreats her pardon, and 
overwhelms her with caresses more painful to 
her than the most terrible effects of his ill-hu- 
mour. And then his temper is so capricious 
that he cannot be counted upon a moment. I 
have seen him oblige her to stay at home and 
pass the evening alone with him after she had 
dressed for a ball. 

This does not accord with the liberty 
French ladies are supposed to enjoy. But I 
believe Clara is not the first wife that has been 
locked up at St. Domingo, yet she excites lit- 
tle sympathy because she has not the good for- 
tune to be one of the privileged. 
In Continuation, 

Certain events, which shall be related, pre^ 


vented me from finishing my letter. The same 
events have produced an entu*e change in our 
affairs, and we are now fixed at St. Domingo 
for some time. 

The embargo is raised : — the general in 
chief is gone to Port-au-Prince ; all the belles 
of the Cape have followed him. Clara is at 
liberty, and her husband content ! 

As soon as we had an opportunity of con- 
versing together, Clara related to me occur- 
rences which seem like scenes of romance, 
but I am convinced of their reality. Under 
the window^ of the little apartment in which 
she was confined^ there is an old building 
standing in a court surrounded by high walls. 
The general informed himself of the position 
of Clara's chamber, and his intelligent valet, 
who makes love to one of her servants, found 
that it would not be difficult to give her a let- 
ter, which his dulcinea refused charging her- 
self with. He watched the moment of St. 
Louis's absence, entered the deserted court, 
mounted the tottering roof, and, calling Clara 
to the window, gave her the letter, glowing 
with the vv^armest professions of love, and sug- 


gesting several schemes for her escape, one of 
which was, that she should embark on board 
a vessel that he would indicate, and that he 
would agree with the captain to put into Port- 
au-Prince, whither he would speedily follow 
her. — Another was, to escape in the night by 
the same window, and go to his house, where 
he would receive and protect her. But the 
heart of Clara acknowledged not the empire 
of general Rochambeau, nor had she even the 
slightest intention of listening to him. 

If her husband knew all this it would cure 
him, I suppose, of his passion for locking up. 
But, incapable of generosity himself, he can- 
not admire it in another, and would attribute 
her refusal of the general's offers to any mo- 
tive but the real one. 

How often has she assured me that she 
would prefer the most extreme poverty to her 
present existence, but to abandon her husband 
was not to be thought of. Yet to have aban- 
doned him, and to have been presented as the 
declared mistress of General Rochambeau, 
would not have been thought a crime nor have 
excluded her from the best societv! 


Madame G , who has nothing but her 

beauty to recommend her, (and no excess of 
that) lives with the admiral on board his ves- 
sel. She is visited by every body ; and no 
party is thought fashionable if not graced by 
her presence, yet her manners are those of a 
poissarde and she was very lately in the lowest 
and most degraded situation. But she gives 
splendid entertainments : and when good cheer 
and gaiety invite, nobody enquires too mi- 
nutely by whom they are offered. 

Clara laughs at the security St. Louis felt 
when he had her locked up. Yet in spite of 
bolts and bars love's messenger reached her. 
The general's letters were most impassioned, 
for, unaccustomed to find resistance, the diffi- 
culty his approach to Clara met added fuel to 
his flame. 

You say, that in relating public affairs, or 
those of Clara, I forget my own, or conceal 
them under this appearance of neglect. My 
fate is so intimately connected with that of my 
sister, that every thing concerning her must 
interest you, from the influence it has on my- 
self; and, in truth, I have no adventures, I 


described in a former letter, the gallantry of 
the French ofncers, but I have not repeated the 
compliments they sometimes make me, and 
which have been oiFered, perhaps, to every 
woman in town before they reach my ear. 
But a civil thing I heard yesterday, had so 
much of originality in it that it deserves to be 
remembered. I was copying a beautiful 
drawing of the graces, when a Frenchman I 
detest, entered the room. Approaching the 
table he said. What mademoiselle do you 
paint? 1 did not know that you possessed that 
talent. Vexed at his intrusion. I asked if 
he knew I possessed any talents. Certainly, he 
replied, every body acknowledges that you 
possess that of pleasing. Then looking at the 
picture that lay before me, he continued : The 
modesty of the graces would prevent their at- 
tempting to draw you. Why? I asked. Be» 
cause in painting you, they w^ould be obliged 
to copy themselves. 

With all this bavardage receive my aifec- 
tionate adieu ! 



Cape Francois, 

We have had some novelty here my dear 
friend, for general Closelle,, who commands 
during the absence of the general in chief, has 
taken a new method to amuse the people, and 
courts popularity under the veil of religion. 
He gives no balls, no concerts ; but he has had 
the church fitted up, and the fete dieu has been 
celebrated with great order, magnificence and 

At break of day the fete Avas announced 
by the firing of cannon : at eight o'clock the 
procession left the church, and passed through 
the principal streets, which were strewn with 
roses ; the fronts of the houses were decorated 
with green branches, formed into arches, in- 
termingled with wreaths of flowers. The troops 
under arms were placed in double ranks on each 

G 2 


side of the street. The procession was opened 
by a number of young boys dressed in white 
surplices, singing a hymn in honour of the day. 
T.bcy were followed by young girls, crowned 
with myrtle, bearing in their hands baskets of 
flowers, which they strewed on the ground as 
they passed along. The band of music fol- 
lowed, and then the priests, bearing golden 
censors, in which were burning the most ex- 
quisite perfumes, preceded by four negroes, 
carrying on their shoulders a golden temple, 
ornamented with precious stones, and golden 
angels supporting a canopy of crimson velvet, 
beneath which the sacred host was exposed in 
a brilliant sagraria. After them marched ge- 
neral Closelle, and all the officers of the civil 
and military departments. The procession 
was closed by a number of ladies, covered with 
white veils. As the temple passed along, the 
soldiers bent one knee to the ground; and when 
it returned to the church, high mass was sung, 
accompanied by military music. 

Clara and myself, attended by her everlast- 
ing beau, major B — — , went all over the 
town, and so fatigued our poor cavalier, that 


he actually fell down ; but he is fifty years old, 
and at least five hundred in constitution; he 
has been very handsome, has still the finest 
eyes in the world, is full of anecdote, and infi- 
nitely amusing. 

General Closelle is very handsome, tall, 
and elegantly formed, but not at all gallant, 
consequently not a favourite with the ladies; 
and for the same reason, a great one with the 
gentlemen, particularly those who are married. 
Since the departure of the general in chief he 
has put every thing on a new footing' the for- 
tifications are repairing, and block-houses are 
erecting all round the town, 

A few days since the negroes attacked a 
block-house which was nearly finished. A de- 
tachment commanded by general Mayart, was 
instantly sent out to support the guard. As 
he passed under my window, I told him to 
hasten and gather fresh laurels. He replied, 
that at his return he would lay them at my 
feet ; but, alas 1 he returned no more. The 
negroes were retreating when he arrived : a 
random shot struck him, and he fell dead from 
his horse. This young man came from France 


about a year ago, a simple lieutenant; he was 
very poor, but being powerfully protected, ad- 
vanced rapidly in the army; and, what is* infi- 
nitely surprising, thirty thousand dollars, and a 
great quantity of plate, were found in his house 
at his death. 

Madame G , a pretty little Parisian, 

who was his favourite, is inconsolable. She 
faints when any body enters the room, and re- 
peats his name in gentle murmurs. In the 
evening she languish in gly reposes on a sopha 
placed opposite the door, and seems to invite 
by the gracefulness of her attitudes, and the 
negligence of her dress, the whole world to 
console her. 

The most distressing accounts arrive here 
daily from all parts of the island. 

The general in chief is at Port-au-Prince, 
but he possesses no longer the confidence of 
the people. He is entirely governed by his 
officers, who are boys, and who think only of 
amusement. He gives splendid balls, and ele- 
gant parties ; but he neglects the army, and 
oppresses the inhabitants. 


A black chief and his wife were made pri- 
soners last week, and sentenced to be shot. 
As they walked to the place of execution the 
chief seemed deeply impressed with the hor- 
ror of his approaching fate : but his wife went 
cheerfully along, endeavoured to console him, 
and reproached his want of courage. When 
they arrived on the field, in which their grave 
was already dug, she refused to have her eyes 
bound ; and turning to the soldiers who were 
to execute their sentence, said "Be expedi- 
tious, and don't make me linger." She re- 
ccived their fire without shrinking, and ex- 
pired without uttering a groan. Since the 
commencement of the revolution she had been 
a very devil ! Her husband commanded at St. 
Marks, and being very amorously inclined, 
every white lady who was unfortunate enough 
to attract his notice, received an order to meet 
him. If she refused, she was sure of being 
destroyed, and if she complied she was as sure 
of being killed by his wife's orders, which 
were indisputable. Jealous as a tygress, she 
watched all the actions of her husband ; and 
never failed to punish the objects of his amo- 


rous approaches, often when they were en- 
tiijely mnocent. 

How terrible was the situation of these un- 
fortunate women, insulted by the brutal pas- 
sion of a negro, and certain of perishing if they 
resisted or if they complied. 

This s^me fury in female form killed with 
her own hand a white man who had been her 
husband's secretary. He offended her ; she 
had him bound, and stabbed him with a pen- 
knife till he expired ! 

How often, my dear friend, do my sighs 
bear my wishes to your happy country; how 
ardently do I desire to revisit scenes hallowed 
by recollection, and rendered doubly dear by 
the peaceful security I there enjoyed, contrast- 
ed with the dangers to which we are here ex- 
posed. Yet the Creoles still hope; for 

*' Hope travels through, nor quits us when 
we die." 

They think it impossible that this island 
can ever be abandoned to the negroes. They 
build houses, rebuild those that were burned, 
and seem secure in their possession. The 


measures of general Closelle inspire them 
with confidence ; and they think that if he was 
commander in chief, all would go well. But 
when general Rochambeau was second in 
command, he was a favorite with everybody; 
and it is only since he has attained the sum- 
mit of power that he has appeared regardless 
of public opinion ! He is said to have the ta- 
lents of a soldier, but not those of a general. 
Whatever may be the fate of this country, here 
I must wait with patience, of which mulish 
virtue I have no great share, till some change 
in its affairs restores me to my own. Yet when 
there, I can hope for nothing more than tran- 
quillity. The romantic visions of happiness I 
once delighted to indulge in, are fading fast 
away before the exterminating touch of cold 
reality. — 

The glowing hand of hope grows cold, 
And fancy lives not to be old. 

But whilst your friendship is left me life will 
still have a charm. 




Cape Francois, 

It is not often in the tranquillity of domes- 
tic life that the poet or the historian seek their 
subjects! Of this I am certain, that in the 
calm that now surrounds us it will be difficult 
for me to find one for my unpoetical pen. 

Clara is dull, St. Loui^ contented, and I 
pass my time heavily, complaining of the fate 
which brought me here, and wishing to be 
away. We go sometimes to the concerts given 

by monsieur d'Or, where madame P , a 

pretty Uttle Parisian sings; and where madame 
A , acccompanied by her daughter, pre- 
sides with solemn dignity. This lady, who is 
at present a most rigid censor of female con- 
duct, and not amiable either in person or man- 
ners, lived many years with monsieur A , 

who raised her from the rank of his house- 


keeper, to that of his mistress. But he fell in 
love with another lady, whom he was going to 
marry. The deserted fair one threw herself 
in despair at the feet of Toussaint, with whom 
she had some influence, and so forcibly repre- 
sented the injustice of the proceeding, that 
Toussaint ordered A to be confined, say- 
ing he should not be released till he consent- 
ed to marry the lady he had so long lived with. 
A resisted some time, but at length yield- 
ed, and exchanged his prison for the softer one 
of her arms. 

Before tlie revolution there was a convent 
at the Cape. The nuns in general were very 
rich, and devoted themselves chiefly to the 
education of young ladies: some of their pu- 
pils, I have heard, would have done honour to 
a Parisian seminary. 

When religion was abolished in France, 
the rage for abolition, as well as that of revo- 
lutionizing reached this place, and the nuns 
were driven from the convent by Santhonax, 
a name which will always fill every French- 
man's breast with horror: he caused the first 
destruction of the Cape. On the arrival of ge- 


neral Galbo, who was sent to supercede him, 
he said, '' if Galbo reigns here, he shall reign 
over ashes," and actually set fire to the town. 
The convent was not then burned; but the 
society was dissolved, the habit of the order 
laid aside ; and some of the nuns, profiting by 
the license of the times, married. Gne of 
these became the wife of a man who, during 
the reign of the negroes committed crimes of 
the deepest die. He has not yet received the 
punishment due to them; but he awaits in 
trembling the hour of retribution. I often see 
her. She has been very handsome, but her 
charms are now in the wane ; she has a great 
deal of vivacity, and that fluency of expression 
in conversing on the topics of the day, which 
gives to a -French woman the reputation of 
having beaiicoup d^ esprit, 

I know also the lady abbess, who is an 
excellent woman of most engaging manners. 
She lives in a miserable chamber, and sup- 
ports herself by her industry. The greatest 
part of the community have perished; and ge- 
neral Le Clerc found it more convenient to 
have the convent fitted up for his own resi- 


dence, than to restore it to its owners, the 
government house having been entirely de- 

There are also here two hospitals, neither 
of which have been injured, though the town 
has been twice burned. The Hopitale de la 
Providence is an asylum for the poor, the sick 
and the stranger; the building is decent: but 
the Hopitale des Peres de la Charite is superb, 
surrounded hj gardens, ornamented with sta- 
tues and fountains, and finished with all the 
magnificence which their vast revenues ena- 
bled its owners to command. 

The streets of the town cross each other 
at right angles, like those of Philadelphia, and 
there are several public squares which add 
greatly to the beauty of the place. In the 
centre of each is a fountain, from which the 
water, clear as crystal, flows into marble ba- 
sons. The houses are commodious, particu- 
larly those of two stories, which have all bal- 
conies; but the streets are narrow, and the 
heat would be intolerable if it was not for the 
relief afforded by bathmg, which is here an 
universal custom, and for the sea-breezes 



which, rising every afternoon, waft on their 
wings dehcious coohiess. 

The mulatto women are the hated but suc- 
cessful rivals of the Creole ladies. Many of 
them are extremely beautiful ; and, being des- 
tined from their birth to a life of pleasure, 
they are taught to heighten the power of their 
charms by all the aids of art, and to express 
in every look and gesture all the refinements 
of voluptuousness. It may be said of them, 
that their very feet speak. In this country that 
unfortunate class of beings, so numerous in my 
own, — victims of seduction, devoted to pub- 
lic contempt and universal scorn, is unknown. 
Here a false step is very rarely made by an un- 
married lady, and a married lady, who does 
not make one, is as rare; yet of both there 
have been instances : but the faux pas of a 
married lady is so much a matter of course, 
that she who has only one lover, and retains 
him long in her chains, is considered as a mo- 
del of constancy and discretion. 

To the destiny of the women of colour no 
infamy is attached; they have inspired pas- 
sions which have lasted through life, and are 



faithful to their lovers through every vicissi- 
tude of fortune and chance* But before the 
revokition their splendor, their elegance, their 
influence over the men, and the fortunes la- 
vished on them by their infatuated lovers, so 
powerfully excited the jealousy of the white 
ladies, that they complained to the council of 
the ruin their extravagance occasioned to many 
families, and a decree was issued imposing re- 
strictions on their dress. No woman of co- 
lour was to wear silk, which was then univer- 
sally worn, nor to appear in public without a 
handkerchief on her head. They determined 
to oppose this tyranny, and took for that pur- 
pose a singular but effectual resolution. They 
shut themselves up in their houses, and ap- 
peared no more in public. The merchants 
soon felt the bad effects of this determination, 
and represented so forcibly the injury the de- 
cree did to commerce, that it w^as reversed, 
and the olive beauties triumphed. 

But the rage of the white ladies still pur- 
sued them with redoubled fury, for what is so 
violent as female jealousy ? The contest how- 
ever was unequal, and the influence of their 


detested rivals could not be counteracted. 
Some of them were very rich. There is a 
friendliness and simplicity in their manners 
which is very interesting. They are the most 
caressing creatures in the world, and breathe 
nothing but affection and love. One of their 
most enviable privileges, and which they ill- 
herit from nature, is that their beauty is im- 
mortal — they never fade. 

The French appear to understand less than 
any other people the delights arising from an 
union of hearts. They seek only the gratifi- 
cation of their sensual appetites. They gather 
the flowers, but taste not the fruits of love. 
They call women the '''beau sexe^^'' and know 
them only under the enchanting form of mi- 
nisters of pleasure. They may appear thus 
to those who have only eyes; by those who 
have hearts they will always be considered as 
sacred objects of reverence and love. A man 
who thinks and feels views in woman the be- 
neficent creature who nourished him with her 
milk, and watched over his helpless infancy; 
a consoling being who soothes his pains and 
softens his sorrows by her tenderness and even 


by her levity and her sports. But here female 
virtue is blasted in the bud by the contagious 
influence of example. Every girl sighs to be 
married to escape from the restraint in which 
she is held whilst single, and to enjoy the un- 
bounded liberty she so often sees abused by 
her mother. A husband is necessary to give 
her a place in society ; but is considered of so 
little importance to her happiness, that in the 
choice of one her inclination is very seldom 
consulted. And when her heart, in spite of 
custom, feels the pain of being alone, and 
seeks an asylum in the bosom of her husband, 
she too often finds it shut against her; she -is 
assailed by those whose only desire is to add 
another trophy to their conquests, and is borne 
away by the torrent of fashion and dissipation 
till all traces of her native simplicity are de- 
stroyed. She joins with unblushing front, the 
crowd who talk of sentiments they never feel, 
and who indulge in the most licentious ex- 
cesses without having the glow of passion to 
gild their errors. These reflections were sug- 
gested by a most preposterous marriage, at 
which I was present. A girl of fifteen was sa- 


crificed by her grandmother to a man of sixty, 
of the most disagreeable appearance and for- 
bidding manners. The soul of this unfortu- 
nate victim is all melting softness; she is of 
the most extraordinary beauty; she is now 
given to the world, and in those who surround 
her she will find the destroyers of her delica- 
cy, her simplicity, and her peace. 



Cape Francois, 

To give you some idea of the despotism 
that reigns in this country, I must relate an 
event which, though it originated with Clara, 
was certainly carried farther than she either 
expected or desired. 

On our arrival here she engaged a young 
Frenchman to give her lessons in his language, 
which she spoke tolerably before, but in which 
she wished to acquire perfection. After he 
had attended her some time she perceived that 
his lessons were considerably lengthened and 
that he chose for his themes the most amorous 
and affectionate pieces. Some observations 
made on the subject, drew from him a confes- 
sion of the extraordinary passion she had in- 
spired. After laughing at his folly, she dis- 


missed him, and thought of him no more ; but 
shortly after was informed that he had circu- 
lated reports highly injurious to her. General 
Rochambeau, whose ears they had reached, 
asked her from whence they arose? and she 
related to him with great simplicity the whole 
affair. The general said he should be em- 
barked, and the next morning he was actually 
sent on board an armed vessel which was to 
sail in a few days. Whilst there he wrote a 
pathetic and elegant little poem in which he 
represented himself as the victim of the gene- 
ral's jealousy, who thus sought to destroy him 
for having interfered, and not unsuccessfully, 
with his pursuits. This paper was sent to the 
man with whom he had lived, and who handed 
it to every body. Clara was in despair. She 
informed the general in chief that he had ren- 
dered the affair, which was at first only ridi- 
culous, seriously provoking: in consequence 
of which the house of this man was surround- 
ed by guards, who, without giving him time 
to take even a change of clothes, conducted 
him on board the vessel where his friend was 




confined; it sailed immediately for France, 
and his house and store, which were worth at 
least thirty thousand dollars became the prey 
of the officers of the administration : but the 
poem was heard of no more. 



Cape Francois, 

The general in chief has returned from 
Port-au-Prince. Three days after his arrival 
the Cape was blockaded by five British ships, 
and news w^as received of war having been 
declared between England and France. 

Every body is in the greatest consterna- 
tion, for inevitable ruin threatens the place. 
The English will no doubt prevent all vessels 
from entering the port, and take all that go 
out; at the same time the negroes are said t@ 
be preparing another attack. 

The general brought in his train all the 
belles of Port-au-Prince, and has given a ball, 
at which, incredible as it may appear to you, 
Clara and myseW appeared. When the cards 
of invitation were brought, St. Louis declared 
that they should not be left; but major B , 


who was present, represented so forcibly the 
danger of irritating the general, who has shewn 
some symptoms of a disposition to tyrannize, 
since his return which were never remarked 
in him before, that he consented to our going. 
When we entered the room attended by B, 
every eye was fixed on Clara, who never was 
so lovely. Dressed in a robe ornamented with 
•wreaths of flowers, she joined the sweetness 
of Flora to the lightness of the youngest of the 
graces, and the recollection of certain late 
events gave an air of timidity to her looks 
which rendered her enchanting. General Ro- 
chambeau, by the warmth of his manner en- 
creased her confusion, and fixed on her more 
pointedly the attention of every beholder. He 
was surprized at seeing her without her hus- 
band, and enquired what had wrought so won- 
derful a change? She replied that he had found 

a very good representative in major B , 

and that he had acquired a little confidence in 
herself. She waltzed with* more than her 
usual grace, and the general seemed flattered 
by the notice she attracted. 


Most of the ladies from Port-au-Prince 
are widows 

" Who bear about the mockery of woe 
To midnight dances and the pubHc shew.'' 

None of them are remarkable for their beauty 
or elegance. The only new face worth look- 
ing at was a madame V , lately arrived 

from France ; her hair was dressed a la Ninon 
de VEnclos^ part of it fastened on the top of 
the head, the rest hanging about her neck in 
loose curls. 

The ball room had been newly furnished 
with regal splendor; all the chairs Avere re- 
moved, and long sophas with large cushions 
offered delightful seats. A recess at one end 
of the room had been fitted up a la Turc ; the 
walls were entirely concealed with large look- 
ing glasses, which reached the ceiling; the 
floor was covered with carpets and the only 
seats were piles of crimson sattin cushions 
thrown on the ground. The lustres, veiled 
with green silk, gave a soft light, imitating that 
of the moon, and the ensemble breathed an air 
of tranquillity that invited to repose after the 

I 2 


fatigue of dancing, and offered a retreat from 
the heat which it was almost impossible to re- 
sist. To this retreat general Rochambeau led 
Clara. A lady was lolling in one corner, and 
I entered at the same moment. He looked as 
if he wished us both away, but I never attend 
to looks that I am resolved not to understands 




Cape Francois. 

A few days after the ball mentioned in my 
last, St. Louis determined to send Clara and 
myself to St. Jago de Cuba, and to follow us 
as soon as possible. This measure was op- 

posed by major B ; but Clara insisted, 

and the day of our departure was fixed. The 

next day B breakfasted with us; and as 

soon as we were alone, told Clara that she M'^as 
wrong in being so entirely governed by her 
husband. She replied, that she had suiFered 
much in consequence of coquetting with ge- 
neral Rochambeau, in which her only inten- 
tion had been to find amusement; but she was 
now convinced of its being highly dangerous 
and improper; and that it had been produc- 
tive of much ill. She added, that she lived in 
continual inquietude, and that nothing would 


92 HORRORS or 

induce her to stay in the Cape if she could get 

B — - — spoke of the passion of the general, 
— said he had seen him that morning, and as 
a proof of her having been the subject of their 
conversation, gave her a letter from him. Is 
it possible, (she exclaimed) you in whom my 
husband has so much confidence? You are a 

fool, replied B , and your husband is no 

better : and if his insolence to the general has 
not been punished it is owing to my inter- 

Clara read the letter. It was filled with 
professions of admiration and unalterable love. 
He begged her not to think of leaving the 
Cape, which was in no danger; and further 
said he had taken measures to prevent her 
being sent away. He requested her to write 
to him, but this she positively refused. 

Towards noon a proclamation was issued 
ordering all the passports which had been 
granted during the last three months to be re- 
turned. St. Louis was in despair: he had in- 
tended sending Clara off without eclat, having 
procured passports before, but B- betray- 


ed him. Yet in B he has the most un- 

bounded confidence ; and suffers Clara to re- 
ceive nobody els^. She walks with him when 
she pleases, and he never fails on such occa- 
sions to give the general an opportunity of 
speaking to her. 

A few days ago ^ve went to Picolet, to see 
the fort. The road to it winds along the sea- 
shore at the foot of the mountain. The rocks 
are covered with the Arabian jessamin, which 
grows here in the greatest profusion. Its flex- 
ible branches form among the cliffs moving 
festoons and fantastic ornaments, and its flowers 
whiter than snow, fill the air with intoxicating 
fragrance. After having visited the fort we 
were preparing to return, when we saw a troop 
of horsemen descending the mountain. They 
came full speed. We soon discovered they 
were the general and his suite ; and as they 
followed the windings of the road, with their 
uniform a la mameluc^ and their long sabres, 
they appeared like a horde of Arabs. 

The general arrived first, and jumping from 
his horse, told Clara that he had left the table 
an hour sooner than usual to have the plea- 


sure of seeing her. Then, said she, looking 

reproachfuUy at B , you have a famihar 

spirit who informs you of jny movements ! 
Why not, he repHed, are you not an enchan- 
tress, and have you not employed all the 
powers of magic to enslave me ? You arc in 
an error said Clara ; I was flattered by your 
admiration, and gratified by the attentions with 
which you honoured me; but I used no art to 
attract the one, and am too sensible of my own 
defects not to feel that I am indebted for the 
other entirely to your goodness. That is too 
modest to be natural, cried the general. No- 
body who possesses your charms can be igno- 
rant of their power ; nor could any one mis- 
take the passion I have evinced for you, for 
the common attention every lady receives as 
her due. Then you do not believe a woman 
can be modest? asked Clara. Modest if you 
please, but not insensible, he replied. And 

suffer me to observe, Oh no observations, 

I entreat, interrupted Clara ; fcr this interview 
w^ill, I fear, occasion too many. — rBut tell me, 
how did you learn I was to be here ; and why 
have you left the table where you so often sa= 


crifice till a late hour to the rosy god, to wan- 
der among these rugged rocks where despair- 
ing lovers alone would seek a retreat? And 
are you of that number? he enquired. No, 
she replied: but I have not your motive's for 
staying at home : I was led here by curiosity; 
It is my first visit to this spot. Then believe, 
said the general, that I came here to offer at 
your feet that homage which envious fate has 
hitherto deprived me of an opportunity of pay- 
ing. During this conversation, he had drawn 
her to a point of the rock; and the officers of 
his suite, surrounding me, sought to divert my 
attention by all the common place compli- 
ments of which they are so profuse. I had 
forgotten Clara for a moment, when, turning, 
I beheld the general, who bending one knee 
to the ground, seized her hand passionately, 
and at the same time I saw St. Louis ascend- 
ing the mountain. 

Pressing through the crowd I flew to her, 
saying, are you mad? Rise general, for heaven's 
sake I her husband approaches ! what means 
this exhibition of folly ? Yes I am mad, he re- 
plied, I adore your sister, and she refuses to 


listen to me. My sister is married, I answer- 
ed. But, said he, she loves not her husband. 
At least I love no one more than him, said 
Clara, trembling at the idea of having been 
seen by St. Louis. Fortunately I had disco- 
vered him at the foot of the mountain, and the 
road winds round its base with so many turn- 
ings that it is of considerable length and be- 
fore he arrived she was tolerably composed. 

You have deceived me, said the general. 
I never listened to you, she replied. But you 
have read my letters. — I could not avoid re- 
ceiving, but I never answered them. Still, he 
observed, interrupting her, I will hope; For 
your eyes cannot utter falsehood, and from 
them I have received encouragement. 

At that instant St. Louis arrived; he ap- 
peared astonished at seeing Clara so surround- 
ed, and advancing involuntarily, as if to defend 
her, took her arm. 

The general, with his usual levity, told St. 
Louis, that he came in time to prevent him 
from running away with his wife. Then twin- 
ing round her arm a wreath of jessamin he had 
taken from my hand, said, with such fetters 


only you should be bound! Does she find 
those that, bind her too heavy ? asked her hus- 
band. No, replied the general, she seems con- 
tent. Then casting a look of disappointment 
at Clara, he mounted his horse and rode off. 

Major B engaged St. Louis in a con- 
versation on the situation of the colony, which 
made him forget the dangerous one in which 
he had found his wife, 

Clara, leaning on my arm, seemed op- 
pressed by a variety of sensations, among 
which indignation predominated. The ^ 
rity and presumption of the gene^*-^' 
her, and the recollection of haviu:. 
gativeiy encouraged him, gave ai -^1 

pang to her heart. We returned slovv 
Our meeting with general Rochambca 
drought accidental by St. Louis, and was ta. 
no notice, of. 




Cape Francois. 

Ah, my dear friend, where shall I find ex- 
pressions to convey to you an idea of the hor- 
ror that fills my soul ; how describe scenes at 
which I tremble even now with terror ? 

Three negroes were caught setting fire to 
a plantation near the town. They were sen- 
tenced to be burnt alive ; and the sentence w^as 
actually executed. When they were tied to 
the stake and the fire kindled, one of them, I 
understand, held his head over the smoke and 
was suiFocated immediately. The second 
made horrible contortions, and howled dread- 
fully. The third, looking at him comtemptu- 
ously said, Peace ! do you not know how to 
die? and preserved an unalterable firmness till 
the devouring flames consumed him. This 
cruel act has been blamed by every body, as 


giving a bad example to the negroes, who will 
not fail to retaliate on the first prisoners they 
take. But it has been succeeded by a deed 
which has absolutely chilled the hearts of the 
people. Every one trembles for his own safe- 
ty, and silent horror reigns throughout the 

A young Creole, who united to the great= 
est elegance of person the most polished man- 
ners and the most undaunted courage, had in- 
curred, I know not how, the displeasure of ge- 
neral Rochambeau, and had received a hint of 
approaching danger, but neither knew what he 
had to fear, nor how to avoid it, when he re- 
ceived an order to pay into the treasury, be- 
fore three o'clock, twenty thousand dollars on 
pain of death. This was at ten in the morn- 
ing. He thought at first it was a jest; but 
when assured that the order was serious, said 
he would rather die than submit to such injus- 
tice, and was conducted by a guard to prison. 
Some of his friends went to the government- 
house to intercede for him. Nobody was ad- 
mitted. His brother exerted himself to raise 
the sum required; but though their house has- 


a great deal of property, and government is 
indebted to them more than a hundred thou- 
sand dollars, it was difficult, from the scar- 
city of cash, to raise so large a sum in so 
short a time, and nobody thought there was 
any danger to be apprehended. At half after 
two o'clock he was taken to the fosset, where 
his grave was already dug. The captain of 
the guard sent to know if there was no re- 
prieve: and was told that there. was none. He 
sent again, the same answer was returned, 
with an order to perform his duty, or his life 
would be the forfeit of his disobedience. He 
was a Creole, the friend, the companion of 
the unfortunate Feydon. Ah ! how could 
he submit to be the vile instrument of tyran- 
ny ? how could he sacrifice his friend ? Why 
did he not resign his commission on the spotj 
and abide by the consequence ? Approaching 
Feydon, he offered to bind his eyes ; but he 
refused, saying. No, let me witness your hor- 
rors to the last moment. He was placed on 
the brink of his grave. They fired : he fell ! 
but from the bottom of his grave cried, I am 

K 2 



not dead- — finish me ! My heart bleeds : 1 
knew him ; and while I live, the im,pression 
this dreadful event has made on me will never 
be effaced. At the moment he was killed his 
brother, having collected the required sum, 
carried it to the general, who took the money, 
and sent the young man, who was frantic when 
he heard of his brother's fate, to prison. It is 
said a reprieve had been granted, but had been 
suppressed by Nero the commandant de la 
place, who is as cruel, and as much detested 
as was the tyrant whose name he bears. 

A few days after, nine of the principal mer- 
chants were selected. One hundred thousand 
dollars was the sum demanded from them ; 
and they were imprisoned till it should be 
found. It was then the virtuous Leaumont 
approached, fearless of consequences, the re- 
treat of the tyrant, and obliged him to listen 
to the voice of truth. He represented the im- 
possibility of finding the sum demanded from 
these unfortunate men, and entreated to have 
a tax laid on every individual of the place in 
proportion to his property, which, after much 


debate was consented to. The money was 
soon furnished, and the prisoners released. 

Since the death of Fey don the general ap^ 
pears no more in public. A settled gloom per- 
vades the place, and every one trembles lest he 
should be the next victim of a monster from 
whose power there is no retreat. St. Louis, 
above all, is in the greatest danger, for he has 
the reputation of being rich, and, hiiving ex- 
cited the aversion of general Rochambeau, it 
is not probable that he will escape without 
some proof of his animosity. 

Clara is in the greatest dejection. She re- 
pents bitterly the levity of her conduct, and is 
torn with anxiety for the fate of her husband. 
She loves him not, it is true, but would be in 
despair if through her fault the least evil befel 
him, and feels for the first time the danger of 
awakening the passions of those who are ca- 
pable of sacrificing all considerations to grati- 
fy their wishes or revenge their disappoint- 
ment. She requested the general to give her 
a passport for St. Jago de Cuba. He replied 
that he could only grant them to the old and 


Ugly, and she, not being of this description, he 
was obliged to refuse her ; however, after 
much solicitation, she obtained one for herself 
for me and her servants, and we shall sail in 
a few days. All the women are suffered to 
depart, but no man can procure a passport. 
Some it is true, find means to escape in dis- 
guise, and they are fortunate, for it is much 
feared that those who remain will be sacrificed. 
Every vessel that sails from hence is seized 
and plundered by the English ; but, as we are 
Americans, perhaps we may pass. 

Our intention is to stay at St. Jago till St. 
Louis joins us. God knows whether we shall 
ever see him again. With what joy I shall 
leave this land of oppression 1 how much that 
joy would be increased if I was going to the. 
continent ; but in all places, and in all coun- 
tries I shall be affectionately yours, 

T. DOMINGCf-. 105 



You will no doubt be surprised at receiv- 
ing a letter from hence, but here we are my 
dear friend, deprived of every thing we pos- 
sessed, in a strange country, of whose lan- 
guage we are ignorant, and where, even with 
money, it would be impossible to procure what 
we have been accustomed to consider as the 
necessaries of life. Yet here we have found 
an asylum, and met with sympathy; not that 
of words, but active and eifectual sympathy, 
from strangers, which, perhaps, we should 
have sought in vain in our own country, and 
among our own people. 

We embarked at the Cape, Clara, myself 
and six servants, in a small schooner, w^hich 
was full of womxcn, and bound to St. Jago. 
As soon as we were out of the harbour a boat 


from a British frigate boarded us, condemned 
the vessel as French property, and, without 
further ceremony , sent the passengers on board 
another vessel which was lying near us, and 
was going to Barracoa, where we arrived in 
three days, after having suffered much from 
want of provisions and water. Every thing 
belonging to us had been left in the schooner 
the English made a prize of. St. Louis, hav- 
ing forseen the probability of this event, had 
made Clara conceal fifty doubloons in her 

On our arrival at Barracoa, a Frenchman 
we had known at the Cape came on board. 
He conducted us ashore, and procured us a 
room in a miserable hut, where we passed the 
night on a board laid on the ground, it being 
impossible to procure a mattrass. The next 
morning the first consideration was clothes. 
There w^as not a pair of shoes to be found in 
the place, nor any thing which we would have 
thought of employing for our use if we had 
not been obliged by the pressure of necessity, 
Clara had given a corner of our hut to a lady 


who, with two children, was without a shiK 

While we were at breakfast, which we 
made of chocolate, served in little calabashes, 
lent us by the people of the house, a priest of 
most benign aspect entered, and addressing 
Clara in French, which he speaks fluently, told 
her that having heard of our arrival and mis- 
fortunes, he had come to offer his services, 
and enquired how we had passed the night ? 
Clara shewed him the boards on which we had 
slept. He rose instantly, and calling the mis- 
tress of the house, spoke to her angrily. I 
afterwards learned that he reproached her for 
not having informed him of our distress as soon 
as we arrived. He took his leave and returned 
in half an hour with three or four negroes who 
brought mattrasses, and baskets filled with 
fowls, and every kind of fruit the island pro- 
duces. Then, telling Clara that his sister 
would call on her in the evening, and begging 
her to consider him as her servant, and every 
thing he possessed at her disposal, he went 
away. In the afternoon he returned with his 
sister. She is a widow. Her manners are in» 


teresting, but she speaks no language except 
her own, of which not one of us understood a 

Father PhiHp sent for the only shopkeeper 
in the place, who furnished us with black silk 
for dresses, and some miserable linen. By 
the next day we were decently equipped. We 
were then presented to the governor, whose 
wife is divinely beautiful. Nothing can equal 
the lustre of her eyes, or surpass the fascinat-^ 
ing power of her graceful and enchanting man- 
ners. The changes of her charming counte= 
nance express every emotion of her soul, and 
she seems not to require the aid of words* to 
be understood. She conceived at once a fer- 
vent friendship for Clara, and having learned 
our misfortunes from father Philip, insisted on 
our living in her house whilst we remained at 
Barracoa. This point was disputed by Don- 
na Angelica, who said she had provided a 
chamber for us in her own. But madame la 
Governadora was not to be thwarted ; she 
seized Clara by the arm, and drawing her 
playfully into another room, insisted on dress- 
ing her a la Espagnoky which is nothing more 


than a cambric chemise^ cut very low in the 
bosom, an under petticoat of linen, made very 
stiff with starch,. and a muslin one over it, both 
very short. To this is added, when they go 
out, a large black silk veil, which covers the 
head and falls below the waist. By this dress 
the beauty of the bosom, which is so carefully 
preserved by the French is lost. 

Clara looked very well in this costume, 
but felt uncomfortable. As Donna Jacinta 
would not hear of our leaving her we consent- 
ed to stay ; and a chamber was prepared for 
us. In the evening we walked through the 
town, and were surprised to see such extreme 
want in this abode of hospitality. The houses 
are built of twigs, interwoven like basket 
work, and slightly thatched with the leaves of 
the palm tree, v/ith no other floor than the 
earth. The inhabitants sit on the ground, and 
eat altogether out of the pot in which their 
food is prepared. Their bed is formed of a 
dried hide, and they have no clothes but what 
they wear, nor ever think of procuring any till 
these are in rags. 


There are only three decent houses in the 
place, which belong to the governor, to father 
Philip, and his sister ; yet these good people 
are happy, for they are contented. Their 
poverty is not rendered hideous by the con- 
trast of insolent pride or unfeeling luxury. 
They dose away their lives in a peaceful ob- 
scurity, which if I do not envy, I cannot des- 
pise. There are many French families here 
from St. Domingo; some almost without re- 
source; and this place offers none for talents 
of any kind. It is not uncommon to hear the 
sound of a harp or piano from beneath a straw 
built shed, or to be arrested by a celestial 
voice issuing from a hut which would be sup- 
posed uninhabitable, 

Clara studies with so much application the 
Spanish language that she can already hold 
with tolerable ease a conversation, especially 
with the seignora Jacinta, whose eyes are so 
eloquent that it would be impossible not to un- 
derstand her. She is a native of the Havanna, 
was married very young, and her husband 
having been appointed governor of Barracoa, 


was obliged to leave the gaiety and splendour 
of her native place for this deserted spot, 
where fashion, taste or elegance had never 
been known. It has been a little enlivened 
since the misfortunes of the French have 
forced them to seek in it a retreat. 

Jacinta has too much sensibility not to re- 
gret the change of situation ; but she never re- 
pines, and seeks to diffuse around her the 
cheerfulness by which she is animated. From 
early prejudice she loves not the French cha- 
racter. Fortunately Clara is an American; 
and the influence of her enchanting qualities 
on the heart of her fair friend is strengthened 
by the charm of novelty. 

We are waiting for a vessel to carry us* to 
St. Jago, and its arrival, I assure you will fill 
us with regret. 



St. Jago de Cuba. 

We have left Barracoa, the good Father 
Philip, his generous sister, and the beautiful 
Jacinta. Removed from them for ever, the 
recollection of their goodness will accompany 
me through life, and a sigh for the peaceful 
solitude of their retreat will often heave my 
breast amid the mingled scenes of pleasure 
and vexation in which I shall be again enga- 
ged. Fortunate people ! who, instead of ram- 
bling about the world, end their lives beneath 
the roofs where they first drew breath. For- 
tunate in knowing nothing beyond their hori- 
zon ; for whom even the next town is a strange 
country, and who find their happiness in con- 
tributing to that of those who surround them ! 
The wife of the governor could not separate 
herself from us. Taking from her neck a ro- 

h 2 

114 H0RR0R1S or 

sary of«pearls, she put it round that of Clara, 
pressed her in her arms, wept on her bosoni; 
and said she never passed a moment so pain- 
ful. She is young, her soul is all tenderness 
and ardour, and Clara has filled her breast 
with feelings to which till now she has been a 
stranger. Her husband is a good man, but 
without energy or vivacity, the direct reverse 
of his charming wife. She can never have 
awakened an attachment more lively than the 
calmest friendship. She has no children, nor 
any being around her, whose soul is in unison 
with her own. With what devotion she would 
love ! but if a stranger to the exquisite pl^a- 
, sures of that sentiment she is also ignorant of 
*its pains ! may no destructive passion ever 
trouble her repose. 

She walked with us to the shore and waited 
on the beach till we embarked. She shrieked 
with agony when she clasped Clara for the last 
time to her breast, and leaning against a tree, 
gave unrestrained course to her tears. 

The good father Philip accompanied us 
to the vessel, aad staid till the moment of our 
departure. He had previously sent aboard 


every thing that he thought would be agreea- 
ble to us during the voyage. His friendly 
soul poured itself forth in wishes for our hap- 
piness. May all the blessings of heaven be 
showered on his head ! 

It is Clara's fate to inspire great passions. 
Nobody loves her moderately. As soon as 
she is known she seizes on the soul, and cen- 
tres every desire in that of pleasing her. The 
friendship she felt for Jacinta, and the impres- 
sion father Philip's goodness made on her, 
rendered her insensible to all around her. 

The vessel was full of passengers, most 
of them ladies, who were astonished at behold- 
ing such grief. One of them, a native of Je- 
remie, was the first who attracted the attention 
of Clara. This lady, who is very handsome, 
and very young, has three children of the great- 
est beauty, for whom she has the most impas- 
sioned fondness, and seems to view in them 
her own protracted existence. She has all the 
bloom of youth, and when surrounded by her 
children, no picture of Venus with tht loves 
pjid graces- was ever half so interesting. She 
is going to join her husband at St. Jago, who 


I hear, is a great libertine, and not sensible of 
her worth. An air of sadness dwells on her 
lovely countenance, occasioned, no doubt, by 
his neglect and the pain of finding a rival in 
every woman he meets. 

There is also on board a beautiful widow 
whose husband was killed by the negroes, and 
who, without fortune or protection, is going 
to seek at St. Jago a subsistence, by employ- 
ing her talents. There is something incon- 
ceivably interesting in these ladies. Young, 
beautiful, and destitute of all resource, sujp- 
porting with cheerfulness their wayward for- 
tune. ' 

But the most captivating trait in their 
character is their fondness for their children 1 
The Creole ladies, marryipg very young, ap- 
pear more like the sisters uian the mothers of 
their daughters. Unfortunately they grow up 
too soon, and not unfrequently become the 
rivals of their mothers. 

We are still on board, at the entrance of 
the harbour of St. Jago, which is guarded by 
a fort, the most picturesque object I ever saw. 
It is built on a rock that hangs over the sea, 


and the palm trees which wave their lofty-j 
heads over its ramparts, add to its beauty. 

We are obliged to wait here till to-mor- 
row ; for this day being the festival of a saint, 
all the offices are shut. No business is trans- 
acted, and no vessel can approach the town 
without permission. 

This delay is painful ; I am on the wing 
to leave the vessel, though it is only four days 
since we left Barracoa. — I wish to know whe- 
ther we shall meet as much hospitality here as 
in that solitary place. Yet why should I ex- 
pect it ? Hearts like those of father Philip 
and the lovely Jacinta do not abound. — How 
many are there who, never having witnessed 
such goodness, doubt its existence ? 

We have letters to several families here, 
from the governor of Barracoa and father Phi- 
lip, and St. Louis has friends who have been 
long established at this place. Therefore, on 
arriving, we shall feel at home ; perhaps too, 
we may find letters from the Cape ; — God 
grant they may contain satisfactory intelli- 




St. Jago de Cuba. 

A month has passed, since our arrival in 
this place, in such a round Of visits and such 
a variety of amusements, that I am afraid, my 
dear friend, you will think I have forgotten 
you. We were received by the gentleman, 
to whom Clara was directed, with the most 
cordial friendship. He is an ancient Cheva- 
lier de St. Louis, and retains, with much of 
the formality of the court of France, at which 
he was raised, all its elegance and urbanity ; 
and having lived a number of years in this 
island, he is loved and respected by all its in- 

The letters which father Philip and the 
governor of Barracoa gave us to their friends., 
have procured us great attention. 

The people here are much the same as at 

120 HORRORS 01 

Barracoa ;^ perhaps they are a little more civi- 
lized. There is some wealth, with much po- 
verty. The women have made great progress 
towards improvement since such numbers of 
French have arrived from St. Domingo. — 
They are at least a century before the men in 
refinement, but women are every where more 
susceptible of polish than the lords of the cre- 
ation. Those of this town are not generally 
remarkable for th^ir beauty. There are some, 
however, who would be admired even in Phi- 
ladelphia, particularly the wife of the governor; 
bvit they are all remarkable for the smallness 
of their feet, and they dress their hair with a 
degree of taste in which they could not be ex- 
celled by the ladies of Paris. 

We arrived in the season of gaiety, and 
have been at several balls; but their balls 
please me not !— Every body in the room dan- 
ces a minuet, which you may suppose is tedi- 
ous enough ; then follow the country dances, 
which resemble the English, except that they 
aj-e more complicated and more fatiguing. 

There are in this town eleven churches, 
all of them splendid, and the number of priests 

ST. DOMING©. 121 

is incredible ! }A^ny of them may be ranked 
among the most worthless members of the 
community. It is not at all uncommon to see 
them drunk in the street, or to hear of their 
having committed the most shocking excess- 
es. Some, however, are excellent men, who 
do honour to their order and to human nature. 
But the thickest veil of superstition covers the 
land, and it is rendered more impervious by 
the clouds of ignorance in which the people 
are enveloped ! 

Clara, who speaks the language with the 
facility of a native, asked some of her Spanish 
friends for books, but there was not one to be 
found in the place. She complained some 
days ago of a head-ache, and a Spanish lady 
gave her a ribbon, which had been bound 
round the head of an image of the Virgin, tell- 
ing her it was a sovereign remedy for all pains 
of the head. 

The bishop is a very young man and very 
handsome. We* see liim often at church, 
where we go, attracted by the music. But 
one abominable custom observed there, de» 
stroys our pleasure. The women kneel on 



carpets, spread on the ground, and when the} 
are fatigued, cross their legs, and sit Turkish 
fashion ; whilst the men loll at their ease on 
sofas. From whence this subversion of the 
general order ? Why are the women placed 
in the churches at the feet of their slaves ? 

The lower classes of the people are the 
greatest thieves in the world, and they steal 
with so much dexterity, that it is quite a sci- 
ence. The windows are not glazed, but se- 
cured by wooden bars, placed very close to- 
gether. The Spaniards introduce between 
these bars long poles, which have at one end 
a hook of iron, and thus steal every thing in 
the room, even the sheets off the beds. The 
friars excel in this practice, and conceal their 
booty in their large sleeves ! 

In the best houses and most wealthy fa- 
milies there is a contrast of splendour and po- 
verty which is shocking. Their beds and fur- 
niture are covered with a profusion of gilding 
and clumsy ornaments, while the slaves, who 
serve in the family, and even those who are 
about the persons of the ladies, are in rags and 
filthy to the most disgusting degree ! 


How different were the customs of St. Do- 
mingo ! The slaves, who served in the houses, 
were dressed with the most scrupulous neat- 
ness, and nothing ever met the eye that could 
occasion an unpleasant idea. 

The Spanish women are sprightly, and 
devoted to intrigue. Their assignations are 
usually made at church. The processions at 
night, and the masses celebrated before day- 
light, are very favourable to the completion of 
their wishes, to which also their dress is well 
adapted. They wear a black silk petticoat ; 
their head is covered with a veil of the same 
colour, that falls below the waist ; and, this 
costume being universal, and never changed, 
it is difficult to distinguish one woman from 
another. A man may pass his own wife in 
the street without knowing her. Their attach- 
ments are merely sensual. They are equally 
strangers to the delicacy of affection or that 
refinement of passion which can make any sa- 
crifice the happiness of its object may require. 

To the licentiousness of the people, more 
than to their extreme poverty, may be attri- 
buted the number of children which are con- 


tinually exposed to perish in the street. Ah 
most every morning, at the door of one of the 
churches, and often at more than one, a new- 
born infant is found. There is an hospital, 
where they are received, but those who find 
them, are (if so disposed,) at hberty to keep 
them. The unfortunate httle beings who hap- 
pen tofall into the hands of the lower classes 
of the people, increase, during their childhood, 
the throng of beggars, and augment, as they 
grow up, the number of thieves. 

The heart recoils at the barbarity of a 
mother who can thus abandon her child ; but 
the custom, here, as in China, is sanctioned by 
habit, and excites no horror ! 




St, Jago de Cuba, 

We have received no news from the Cape, 
my dear friend, but it is generally expected 
that it will be evacuated, as several parts of 
the island have been already. 

This place is full of the inhabitants of that 
unfortunate country, and the story of every 
family would offer an interesting and pathetic 
subject to the pen of the novelist. 

All have been enveloped in the same ter- 
rible fate, but with different circumstances ; 
all have suffered, but the sufferings of each 
individual derive their hue from the disposi- 
tion of his mind. 

One catastrophe, which I witnessed, is 
dreadfully impressive ! I saw youth, beauty 
and affection sink to an untimely grave, with- 

M 2 


out having the power of softening the bitter- 
nfess of their fate. 

Madame C , a native of Jeremie, had 

been sent by her husband to Philadelphia, at 
the beginning of the revolution, where she 
continued several years, devoting all her time 
to improving the mind and cultivating the ta- 
lents of her only child, the beautiful Clarissa. 

Sometime after the , arrival of the French 
fleet, Madame C , and her daughter re- 
turned to Jeremie. She had still all the charms 
of beauty, all the bloom of youth. She was 
received by her husband with a want of ten- 
derness which chilled her heart, and she soon 
learned that he was attached to a woman of 
colour on whom he lavished all his property. 
This, you may suppose, was a source of mor- 
tification to Madame C , but she suffer- 
ed in silence, and sought consolation in the 
bosom of her daughter. 

When the troubles of Jeremie encreased, 
and it was expected tvcry day that it would 

be evacuated. Monsieur C resolved to 

remove to St. Jago de Cuba. He sent his wife 
and child in one vessel, and embarked with 


his mistress in another. Arriving nearly at the 
same time, he took a house in the comitry, to 
which he retired with his superannuated fa- 
vourite, leaving his family in town, and in 
such distress that they were often in want of 

Madame C , too delicate to expose 

the conduct of her husband, or to complain, 
concealed from her friends her wants and her 

A young Frenchman was deeply in love 
with her daughter, but his fortune had been 
lost in the general wreck, and he had nothing 
to oiFer to the object of his adoration except a 
heart glovv^ing with tenderness. He made Ma- 
dame C the confidant of his affection. She 

was sensible of his worth, and would willingly 
have made him the protector of her daughter, 
had she not been struggling herself with ail 
the horrors of poverty and therefore thought 
it wrong to encourage his passion. 

He addressed himself to her father, and 
this father was rich ! He lavished on his mis- 
tress all the comforts and elegancies of life, 
yet refused to his family the scantiest pittance ! 


He replied to the proposal that his daughter 
might marry, but that it was impossible for 
him to give her a shilling. 

Clarissa heard the unfeeling sentence with 
calm despair. She had just reached the age 
in which the alFections of the heart develope 
themselves. The beauty of her form was un- 
equalled, and innocence, candour, modesty, 
generosity, and heroism, were expressed with 
ineflfable grace in every attitude and every fea- 
ture. Clarissa was adored. Her lover was 
idolatrous. The woods, the dawning day, 
the starry heavens, witnessed their mutual 
vows. The grass pressed by her feet, the air 
she respired, the shade in which she reposed, 
were consecrated by her presence. 

Her mother marked, with pity, the pro- 
gress of their mutual passion, which she could 
not forbid, for her own heart was formed for 
tenderness, nor could she sanction it, seeing 
no probability of its bein^ crowned with suc- 
cess. But the happiness of her daughter was 
her only wish, and moved by her tears, her 
sighs, and the ardent prayers of her lover, she 
at length consented to their union. They were 


married and they were happy. But alas ! a few 
days after their marriage a fever seized Cla- 
rissa. The distracted husband flew to her fa- 
ther who refused to send her the least assist- 
ance. She languished, and her mother and 
her husband hung over her in all the bitterness 
©f anguish. The impossibility of paying a 
physician prevented their calling one, till it 
was too late, and, ten days after she had be- 
come a wife, she expired. I have held this 
disconsolate mother to my breast, my tear^ 
have mingled with hers : all the ties that bound 
her to the world are severed, and she Vvdshes 
only for the moment that will put a period to 
her existence, when she fondly hopes she may 
be again united to her daughter. To the hus- 
band I have never uttered a word. His sorrow 
is deep and gloomy. He avoids all conversa- 
tion, and an attempt to console him would be 
an insult on the sacredness of his grief. He 
has tasted celestial joys. He has lost the ob- 
ject of his love, and henceforth the earth is for 
him a desert. 

For the brutal father there is no punish- 
ment. His conscience itself inflicts none, for 


he expressed not the least regret when inform. . 
ed of the fate of his daughter. 

But when the story became known, the 
detestation his conduct excited was so Adoient, 
that the friends of Madame C have caus- 
ed her to be separated from him, and obhged 
him to allow her a separate maintenance. Un- 
fortunately their interest has been exerted too 
late. A few webks sooner it rnight have saved 
her daughter. 

How terrible is the fate of a woman thus 
dependent on a man who has lost all sense of 
justice, reason, or humanity; who, regardless 
of his duties, or the respect he owes society, 
leaves his wife to contend with all the pains of 
want, and sees his child sink to an untimely 
grave, without stretching forth a hand to assist 
the one or save the other ! 

ST. DOMINGO. 1:31 


St, Jhgo de Cuba. 

I write continually, my dear friend, though 
the fate of my letters is very uncertain. If 
they arrive safe they will prove that I have 
not forgotten you, and that I suffer no oppor- 
tunity to pass without informing you that I 

I understand that, after our departure from 
the Cape, the tyranny of the general in chief 
encreased, and that the inhabitants were daily 
exposed to new vexations. St. Louis, in par- 
ticular, was the distinguished object of his 
hatred. Eternally on guard at the most dan- 
gerous posts, it was finally whispered that 
something, more decidedly bad, was intended 
him, and he thought it was time to try to 
escape from the threatening danger. Being 
informed of a vessel, that was on the point of 


sailing, he prevailed on a fisherman to pui 
him outside of the fort in his boat, and wait 
till it came out, the captain not daring to take 
him on board in the harbour. On the day 
appointed, St. Louis, disguised as a fisherman, 
went into the boat, and, working at the oar, 
they were soon beyond the fort. The vessel 
approached shortly after, and St. Louis, em- 
barking, thought himself out of danger. As 
soon as they were in reach of the English ships 
they were boarded, plundered and sent to 

St. Louis had no trunk, nor any clothes but 
what were on him, in which however was con- 
cealed gold to a great amount. 

A gentleman, who left the Cape the day 
after him, informed us of his escape, and of his 
having been sent to Barracoa, and also that, as 
soon as the general had heard of his departure, 
he had sent three barges after the vessel with 
orders to seize him, take him back, and, as 
soon as he was landed, shoot him without 
further ceremony. 

The whole town was in the greatest con- 
sternation. The bari>:es were well manned and 


gained on the vessel, but a light wind spring<= 
ing up put it soon beyond their reach, and it 
was even believed that the officer, who com- 
manded the barges, did not use all possible 
diligence to overtake them. 

We were rejoiced to hear of the fortunate 
escape of St. Louis but felt some anxiety at 
his not arriving, when lo ! he appeared and 
gave us himself an account of his adventures. 

He is in raptures with the governor of Bar- 
racoa, his charming wife and the good father 
Philip, who, hearing that he was the husband 
of Clara, shewed him the most friendly atten- 
tion. He brought us from them letters glow- 
ing with affectionate recollection. 

He talks of buying a plantation and of 
settling here. If he does I shall endeavour to 
return to the continent, but poor Clara ! she 
weeps when I speak of leaving her, and wheil 
I consider the loneliness to which she will be 
condemned without me, I have almost heroism 
enough to sacrifice my happiness to her com- 

Before the arrival of St. Louis we lived in 
the house of the gentleman to whose care he 

134 HORRORS or 

had recommended us. He is a widower, the 
most cheerful creature in the world, but he 
lives in the times that are past ; all his stories 
are at least foi:ty years old. He talks continu- 
ally of the mystification of Beaumarchais, and 
of the magic of Cagliostro. He told me, with 
all the solemnity of truth, that a lady at the 
court of France, who was past fifty, bought 
from Cagliostro, at a great price, a liquid, a 
single drop of which would take off, in appear- 
ance, ten years of age. The lady swallowed 
two drops, and went to the opera with her 
charms renewed, and her bloom restored to 
the freshness of thirty. — At her return she 
•called her waiting woman, who had been her 
nurse and was at least seventy. She was no- 
where to be found, but a little girl came skip- 
ping in. The lady, enquiring who she was, 
learned that old Ursula, intending to try the 
effect of the drops, had taken too large a dose, 
and was skipping about with all the sprightli- 
ness of fifteen. 

Nothing enrages the old gentleman so 
much as to doubt the truth of what he relates, 
or even to question its probability. He assur-^ 

ST. DOMII^GO. 135 

ed me that he knew the lady, and that he wit- 
nessed the eiFect of the drops on herself and 
the chambermaid. As I can discover no pur- 
pose the invention of such a tale would an- 
swer, I listen without reply, and almost suffer 
myself to be persuaded of its reality* 

Nothing can equal the unpleasantness of 
this town : it is built on the declivity of a hill ; 
the streets are not paved ; and the soil, being 
of white clay, the reflection is intolerable, and 
the heat insupportable. The water is brought 
on mules, from a river three miles off, and is 
a very expensive article. The women never 
walk, except to church, but every evening 
they take the air in an open cabriolet, drawn 
by mules, in which they exhibit their finery, 
and, not unfrequently, regale themselves with 
a segar. 

Every body smokes, at all times, and in 
all places; and from this villanous custom ari- 
ses perhaps, the badness of thejr teeth, which 
is universal. 

The American consul, who has lived here 
many years, says that the people are much 
Improved since he resided among them. At 



his arrival there was not a gown in the place. 
They are now generally worn. 

This old consul is the greatest beau in the 
place. He gives agreeable parties, and makes 
love to every body, but I believe with little 
success. His very appearance would put all 
the loves to flight. 

3T. DOMINGO. 137 


St, Jago de Cuba, 

The French emigrants begin to seek in 
their talents some resource from the frightful 
poverty to which they are reduced, but meet 
with very Httle encouragement. The people 
here are generally poor, and unaccustomed to 
expensive pleasures. A company of come- 
dians are building a theatre; and some sub- 
scription balls have been given, at which the 
Spanish ladies were quite eclipsed by the 
French belles, notwithstanding their losses. 

Madame D , of Jeremie, who plays 

and sings divinely, gave a concert, which was 
very brilliant. 

The French women are certainly charm- 
ing creatures in society. The cheerfulness 
with which they bear misfortune, and the in- 
dustry they employ to procure themselves a 

N 2 


subsistence, cannot be sufficiently admired. I 
know ladies who from their infancy were sur- 
rounded by slaves, anticipating their slightest 
wishes^ now working from the dawn of day 
till midniglit to support themselves and their 
families. Nor do they even complain, nor 
vaunt their industry, nor think it surprising 
that they possess it. Their neatness is wor- 
thy of admiration, and their taste gives to their 
attire an air of fashion which the expensive, 
but ill-chosen, ornaments of the Spanish la- 
dies cannot attain. With one young iady I 
am particularly acquainted whose goodness 
cannot be sufficiently admired. Ah! Eliza, 
how shall I describe thy sweetness, thy fide- 
lity, thy devotion to a suffering friend. Why 
am I not rich that I could place thee in a situ- 
ation where thy virtues might be known, thy 
talents honoured. Alas! I never so deeply re- 
gret my own want of power as when reflect- 
ing that I am unable to be useful to you. 

This amiable girl was left by her parents, 
who went to Charleston at the beginning of 
the revolution, to the care of an aunt, who was 
very rich, and without children. At the eva- 


cuation of Port-au-Prince, that lady embark- 
ed for this place. Her husband died on the 
passage ; and they were robbed of every thing 
they possessed by an English privateer. The 
father of Eliza wrote for them to join him in 

Carolina; but the ill health of madame L • 

would not suifer her to undertake the voyage, 
and Eliza will not hear of leaving her, but 
works day and night to procure for her aunt 
the comforts her situation requires. She is 
young, beautiful and accomplished. She 
wastes her bloom over the midnight lamp, 
and sacrifices her health and her rest to soothe 
the sufferings of her infirm relation. Her pia- 
tience and mildness are angelic. Where will 
such virtues meet their reward? Certainly not 
in this country ; and she is held here by the 
ties of gratitude and affection which, to a heart 
like hers, are indissoluble. 

In the misfortunes of my French friends, 
I see clearly exemplified the advantages of a 
good education. Every talent, even if pos- 
sessed in a slight degree of perfection, may be 
a resource in a reverse of fortune; and, though 
I liked not entirely their manner, whilst sur^ 


rounded by the festivity and splendour of the 
Cape, I now confess that they excite my warm- 
est admiration. They bear adversity with 
cheerfulness, and resist it with fortitude. In 
the same circumstances I fear I should be in- 
ferior to them in both. But in this countrv, 
slowly emerging from a state of barbarism, 
what encouragment can be found for industry 
or talents? The right of commerce was pur- 
chased by the Catalonians, who alone exercise 
it, and agricailture is destroyed in consequence 
of the restraints imposed on it by the govern- 
ment. The people are poor, and therefore 
cannot possess talents whose acquisition is be- 
yond their reach ; but they are temperate, 
even to a proverb, and so hospitable that the 
poorest among them always find something to 
offer to a stranger. At the same time they are 
said to be false, treacherous, and revengeful, 
to the highest degree. Certainly there are 
here no traces of that magnanimous spirit, 
which once animated the Spanish cavalier, who 
was considered by the whole world as a mo- 
del of constancy, tenderness and heroism. 


They feel for the distressed, becausei^they 
are poor; and are hospitable because they 
know want. In every other respect this is a 
degenerate race, possessing none of the quali- 
ties of the Spaniards of old except jealousy, 
which is often the cause of tragical events. 

A young gentleman of this place fell in 
love with a beautiful girl who rejected him be- 
cause she was secretly attached to another. 
Her lover was absent; and she feared to avow 
her passion lest his rival might use some means 
to destroy him, for she knew he was cruel and 
vindictive; but her lover returning, she de- 
clared her attachment, and declined receiving 
the visits of him who had pretended to her 
hand. A few evenings previous to that fixed 
on fpr her marriage, she was returning from 
church with her mother, when at the door of 
her house a man, wrapped in a large cloak, 
seized her arm, and plunging a dagger in her 
breast, fled, leaving her lifeless on the ground. 
The cries of her afirighted mother brought 
people to her assistance, but the blow was di- 
rected by a secure hand; she breathed no 
more. Every body was convhiced that ^e 


perpetrator of this abominable act was her re- 
jected lover; but, as no proofs existed, the 
law could not interfere. Shortly after he was 
found dead in the street; and probably it was 
the hand of hirn he had driven to despair, that 
inflicted the punishment due to his crime. 

Nothing is more common than such events. 
They excite littk attention, and are seldom 
enquired into. How different is this from the 
peaceful security of the country in which 1 
first drew breath, and to which I so ardently, 
but I fear hopelessly, desire to return. 



*S'^. Jago de Cuba, 

General Rochambeau, after having made 
a shameful capitulation with the negroes, has 
evacuated the Cape. He presented his su- 
perb horses to Dessalines, and then embarked 
with his suite, and all the inhabitants who 
chose to follow him, intending to fight his way 
through the British ships. They were, how- 
ever, soon overpowered and taken. The 
English admiral would not admit the general 
in chief into his presence. He has been sent 
to Jamaica, from whence he will be transport- 
ed to England. 

Many of the inhabitants of the Cape have 
arrived here, after having lost every thing they 
possessed. Numbers have remained. After 
the articles of capitulation were signed three 
days were allowed for the evacuation, during 


which the negroes entered the town, and were 
so civil and treated the inhabitants with so 
much kindness and respect, that many who 
had embarked their effects, allured by the 
prospect of making a fortune rapidly, paid 
great sums to have them relanded, supposing 
they would be protected as they had been in 
the time of Toussaint. But in less than a 
week they found that they had flattered them- 
selves with false hopes. A proclamation was 
issued by Dessalines, in which every white 
man was declared an enemy of the indigenes, 
as they call themselves, and their colour alone 
deemed sufiicient to make them hated and to 
devote them to destruction. The author of 
this eloquent production, a white man, be- 
came himself the first sacrifice. 

The destined victims were assembled in a 
public square, where they were slaughtered 
by the negroes with the most unexampled 
cruelty. One brave man, who had often dis- 
tinguished himself in the defence of the Cape, 
and who had been weak enough to stay in it, 
seized with desperate fury the sword of one of 
the negroes, and killing several, at length fell. 


overpowered by numbers. A few were pre- 
served from this day's massacre by their slaves. 
Some were concealed by the American mer- 
chants, though it was very dangerous to ven- 
ture on such benevolent actions. One vessel 
was searched, and several inhabitants being 
found on board, they were taken and Jianged. 
The mate of the vessel, though an American, 
shared their fate. The captain saved himself 
by declaring that he was ignorant of their be- 
ing on board. Major B -, whom I have so 

often mentioned, had also the folly to stay. 
One of his slaves concealed him on the day of 
the massacre, and, shut up in a hogshead, he 
was put on board an American vessel. After 
many perilous adventures he has arrived here, 
and relates scenes v/hich cannot be thought of 
without horror. 

The women have not yet been killed ; but 
they are exposed to every kind of insult, are 
driven from their houses, imprisoned, sent to 
Work on the public roads ; in fine, nothing can 
be imagined more dreadful than their situa- 

Two amiable girls, v/hom I knew, hung 


to the neck of their father when the negroeb 
seized him. They wept and entreated these 
monsters to spare him; but he was torn rudely 
from their arms. The youngest, attempting to 
follow him, received a blow on the head with a 
musquet which laid her lifeless on the ground. 
The eldest, frantic with terror, clung to her 
father, when a ruthless negro pierced her with 
his bayonet, and she fell dead at his feet. The 
hapless father gave thanks to God that his un- 
fortunate children had perished before him, 
and had not been exposed to lingering suffer- 
ings and a more dreadful fate. 

Some ladies have found protectors in the 
American merchants, who conceal them in 
their stores. Some have been saved by the 
British officers ; but the greatest number have 
iDcen driven into the streets, and many are 
forced to carry on their heads baskets of can- 
non balls from the arsenal to the fosset, a dis- 
tance of at least three miles. 

I enquired after a most accomplished and 
exemplary woman, who with three beautiful 
daughters remained at the Cape after the eva- 


euation, and I have wept at the story of their 
sufferings till I am unable to relate them. 

What could have induced these infatuated 
people to confide in the promises of the ne- 
groes? Yet to what will not people submit to 
avoid the horrors of poverty, or allured by the 
hope of making a rapid fortune. 

During the reign of Toussaint the white 
inhabitants had been generally respected, and 
many of them, engaging in commerce, had 
accumulated money which they sent to the 
United States, where they are now living at 
their ease. Even at the arrival of the French 
fleet, the lives of the people, except in a few 
solitary instances, had been spared. These 
considerations had without doubt great weight, 
but alas ! how soon were their hopes blasted, 
and how dearly have they paid for their credil- 
lity. Yet even these monsters, thirsting after 
blood, and unsated with carnage, preserved 
from among the devoted victims those whose 
talents could be useful to themselves. A 
printer and several artists have been suffered 
to live, but are closely guarded, and warned 
that their lives will be the forfeit of the first 


attempt to escape. With the sword suspended 
over their heads they still cherish perhaps a 
secret hope of eluding the vigilance of their 
savas^e masters.. 




St, Jago de Cuba. 

Madame tj , a native of the Gonaives, 

having lost her husband at the beginning of 
the revolution, left St. Domingo, and sought 
a retreat from the horrors that ravaged that 
devoted island in the peaceful obscurity of 
BarracoH. Three infant daughters cheered 
her solitude ; and she found in cultivating theif 
minds a never failing source of delight. Some 
faithful slaves who had followed her, supplied 
by their industry her wants. The beauty of 
her person, the elegance of her manners, and 
the propriety of her conduct, rendered her the 
admiration of all who beheld her, whilst her 
benevolence, which shared with the poor the 
scanty pittance she possessed, made her the 
idol of those whose wants she relieved. Thus, 
she lived, contented, if not happy, till the ar- 

o 2 


rival of the French army at St. Domingo re- 
called its inhabitants to their deserted homes. 
Madame G , lured by the hope of re- 
instating her children in their paternal inheri- 
tance, left Barracoa, followed by the blessings 
and regret of all to whom she was known. 
On arriving at the Cape she found a heap of 
ashes, and shuddered with horror at the dreary 
aspect of her native country. But she viewed 
her children, recollected that on her exertions 
they depended, and determined to sacrifice 
every thought of comfort to their advance- 
^ment. Some houses she owned in the Cape, 
upon being rebuilt, promised to yield her a 
handsome revenue ; and she passed in anxious 
expectation the time during which the army 
kept possession of the Cape. At length the 
moment of the evacuation arrived, and the 
wretched Creoles were again reduced to the 
dreadful alternative of perishing with want in 
foreign countries, or of becoming victims to 
the rage of the exasperated negroes in their 
own. Whilst Madame G — — hesitated, she 
received a letter from one of the black chiefs, 
who had been a slave to her mother. He ad> 


vised her not to think of leaving the country 5- 
assured her that it was the intention of Dessa- 
lines to protect all the white inhabitants who 
put confidence in him, and that herself and her 
children would be particularly respected. The 
dread of poverty in a strange country with 
three girls, the eldest of whom was only fif- 
teen, induced her to stay. Many others, with 
less reason to expect protection, followed her 

When the time allowed for the evacuation 
had expired, the negroes entered as masters. 
During the first days reigned a deceitful calm 
which was followed by a dreadful storm. 

The proclamation of Dessalines, mention- 
ed in my last letter was published. Armed 
negroes entered the houses and drove the in- 
habitants into the streets. The men were led 
to prison, the women were loaded with chains^ 

The unfortunate madame G , chained to 

her eldest daughter, and the two youngest 
chained together, thus toiled, exposed to the 
sun, from earliest dawn to setting day, follow- 
ed by negroes who, on the least appearance of 
faintness, drove them forward with whips. A 


fortnight later the general massacre took place,.- 
but the four hopeless beings of whom I parti- 
cularly write, were not led to the field of 
slaughter. They were kept closely guarded, 
without knowing for what fate they were re- 
served, expecting every moment to hear their 
final sentence. They were sitting one day in 
mournful silence, when the door of their pri- 
son opened, and the chief, whose letter had in- 
duced them to stay, appeared. He saluted 

madame G^ with great familiarity, told 

her it was to his orders she owed her life, and 
said he would continue his friendship and pro- 
tection if she would give him her eldest daugh- 
ter in marriage. The wretched mother caught 
the terrified Adelaide, who sunk fainting into 
her arms. The menacing looks of the negro 
became more horrible. He advanced to seize 
the trembling girl. Touch her not, cried the 
frantic mother; death will be preferable to 
such protection. Turning coldly from her he 
said, You shall have your choice. A few mi- 
nutes after a guard seized the mother and the 
two youngest daughters and carried them out, 
leaving the eldest insensible on the floor. 

Sr. DOMINGO. 153 

They were borne to a gallows which had been 
erected before their prison, and immediately 
hanged. Adelaide was then carried to the 
house of the treacherous chief, who informed 
her of the fate of her mother, and asked her if 
she would consent to become his wife? ah ! 
no, she replied, let me follow my mother. A 
fate more dreadful awaited her. The monster 
gave her to his guard, who hung her by the 
throat on an iron hook in the market place, 
where the lovely, innocent, unfortunate victim 
slowly expired. 

S-r. DOMING©. 15^ 


aS'^. Jago de Cuba. 

I finished my last letter abruptly, my dear 
friend, but a good opportunity offered of send- 
ing it, and the story of madame G had 

so affected me that I could think of nothing 

St. Louis is determined to buy a planta- 
tion here, and establish himself on it tiU he 
can return to St. Domingo. His old disease 
has seized him with fresh violence, and he in- 
tends to carry his wife beyond the reach of 
men. He is jealous of an interesting Spaniard 
who has lately been very assiduous towards 
my sister; and who is, I believe, much more 
dangerous than the redoubted general Ro- 
chambeau. His person is perfectly elegant; 
his face beautiful; his large black eyes seem 
to speak every emotion of his soul, but I be- 


lieve they express only what he pleases. Clara 
listens to him, and looks at him as if she was 
fully sensible of his advantages, and frequently 
holds long conversations with him in his own 
language, which, if gestures deceive not, are 
on no uninteresting subject. But I hope, and 
would venture to assert, that she will never, 
to escape from the domestic ills she suffers, 
put her happiness in the power of a Spaniard. 
She is violent in her attachments, and preci- 
pitate in her movements, but she cannot, will 
not, be capable of committing such an unpar- 
donable act of folly. All idea of her going .to 
the continent is^ abandoned ; and when I only 
breathe a hint of leaving her, she betrays such 
agony that I yield and promise to stay ; yqt I 
render her little service, and destroy myself, 
being wearied of this place, which has no 
charm after the gloss of novelty Is gone, and 
that has been long since worn off. 

A company of French comedians had built 
a theatre here, and obtained permission from 
the governor to perform. They played with 
eclat, and always to crowded houses. The 
Spaniards were delighted. The decorations. 


the scenery, above all the representation of the 
sea, appeared to them the effect of magic. Buj: 
the charm was suddenly dissolved by an order 
from the bishop to close the theatre, saying, 
that it tended to corrupt the morals of the in- 
habitants. Nothing can be more ridiculous, 
for the inhabitants of this island have long 
since reached the last degree of corruption; 
devoted to every species of vice, guilty of 
every crime, and polluted by the continued 
practice of every species of debauchery. But 
it is supposed the order was issued to vex the 
governor, with whom the bishop is at variance, 
and the orders of the latter are indisputable. 
It is impossible for him not to know that even 
the vices of the French lose much of their de- 
formity by the refinement that accompanies 
them, whilst those of his countrymen are 
gross, disgusting, and monstrously flagrant. 
Gaming is their ruling passion ; from morning 
till night, from night till morning, the men are 
at the gaming table. They all wear daggers, 
and a night very seldom passes without being 
marked by an assassination, of which no no- 
tice is taken. The women have recourse to 


intrigue, sipping chocolate, or reciting prayers 
on their rosaries. The custom is to dine at 
twelve, then to sleep till three, and this is the 
hour favourable to amorous adventures. Whilst 
the mother, the husband or the guardian sleeps, 
the lover silently approaches the window of his 
mistress, and in smothered accents breathes 
his passion. It is not at all uncommon to see 
priests so employed ; nor are there more dan- 
gerous enemies to female virtue, or domestic 
tranquillity, than these pretended servants of 
the Lord. 

I was at first shocked beyond measure., at 
their licentiousness, for I had been taught to 
consider priests as immaculate beings ; but 
when I reflect that they are men, and doomed 
to an unnatural condition, I pardon their aber- 
rations, and abhor only their filth, which is 
abominable. Consider how agreeable a monk 
must be in this hot country, clothed in wool- 
len, without a shirt, without stockings, and his 
legs so dirty that their colour cannot be distin- 
guished, to which is added a long beard; and 
yet these creatures are favourites with women 
of all ranks and all descriptions. 


There are many religious orders here, 
among which the Franciscan friars are the 
richest, and they are also the most irregular in 
their conduct. They had begun, a number of 
years since, to build a church, which they 
were obliged to discontinue for Vv'ant of funds. 
Shordy after our arrival here the wife of a 
very rich merchant fell dangerously ill. When 
her life was despaired of by the physicians, 
she made a vow to St. Francis, that if she re- 
covered, she would finish his church. The 
saint, it seems, v/as propitious, for she v/as re- 
stored to health, and her husband instantly 
performed the promise of his wife, which has 
cost him a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 
The church was consecrated last week, with 
great pomp and due solemnity. The lady, 
who is certainly very beautiful, assisted at the 
ceremony, covered with diamonds, and dis- 
playing in her dress almost regal splendour. 
She kneeled on the steps of the great altcj, and 
more than shared the adoration offered to the 
saint by the admiring multitude. 

Half the money expended in this pious 
work would have raised thousands of the in- 


habitants of this place, who are in the greatest 
want, to comparative ease. But it would not 
if thus employed, have had such an effect on 
the minds of the people; nor would the lady- 
have had any hope of becoming herself a saint, 
an honour to which she aspires, and which she 
may perhaps attain. 



St, Jago de Cuba. 

Clara and her husband are separated for 
ever ! St. Louis is frantic, and I am distressed 
beyond measure. My heart is torn with anxiety 
for her fate, and I shall know no tranquillity 
till I hear that she is at least content. Being 
acquainted with many of the circumstances 
which led to this event, I pity and pardon her. 
As for the world, its sentence is already pro- 
nounced, and she will be condemned by those 
who possess not a thousandth part of her vir- 
tues. Her husband spares neither pains nor 
expense in searching after her retreat; but, 
though I am absolutely ignorant of it, I be= 
lieve she is beyond his reach. His house is 
so disagreeable to me, since she left it, and 
the wry faces made by all our friends, seem- 
ing to involve me in the scandal occasioned by 

p 2 


her elopement, excite such unpleasant sensa- 
tions that it will be impossible for me to re- 
main here. Therefore I shall leave this place 
immediately with a lady who is going to esta- 
blish herself in Jamaica. I have always de- 
sired to see that island, and there I intend to 
stay till I have some positive information of 
Clara. If she is gone to the continent I shall 
follow her immediately ; if she is in Cuba my 
friendship, my presence will console her, and 
they shall not be wanting. One of my friends, 
a man of intelligence and discretion, has pro- 
mised to find her, if possible, and has promised 
also not to betray her, for she must never 'be 
restored to the power of her husband. Far 
from being an advocate for the breach of vows 
so sacred as those which bound her to St. 
Louis, I have always expressed with unquali- 
fied warmth, my disapprobation of the levity 
of many women who had abandoned their hus- 
bands. But there are circumstances which 
palliate error. Many of those which led to 
Clara's elopement plead for her; but if she 
has sought protection with another, if she will 

ST. DOMINGO. 1(53 

not accompany me, my heart renounces her^ 
and she will no longer have a sister. 

We sail in three days. St. Louis makes 
no objection to my going, and I leave Cuba 
without regret, for in it I have never been hap- 
py. Write to me at Kingston. Never was 
the assurance of your friendship more neces- 
sary to my heart than at this moment. 



Kingston^ Jamaica. 

We arrived at Kingston after a passage of 
twenty-four hours. On entering the harbour 
our little vessel, as it passed near the admiral's 
ship, appeared like an ant at the foot of a 
mountain. Nothing is more delightful than 
the bustle and continual movement that strikes 
the eye on entering this port. Innumerable 
boats are continually plying round the vessels, 
oiFering for sale all the fruits of the season. I 
like the town. There is an air of neatness in 
the houses which I have no where seen since 
I left my own country; but the streets are de- 
testable ; none of them are paved, and at every 
step you sink ankle deep in sand. 

I have found numbers of my French friends 

here, and among others madame M , who 

was more than gallant at the Cape, and who at 


St. Jago appeared not insensible to the plea- 
sure of being loved. She left her sister in a 
fit of jealousy and went to Jamaica, hoping to 
captivate some Englishman, or at least to rival 
him in his attachment to roast beef and Ma- 
deira. But it seems she has been disappointed, 
no lover having yet offered his homage to her 
robust attractions. She accuses them of want» 
ing taste, and hates the place and all who in- 
habit it. 

I have also met here my little friend Co- 
ralie, whose adventures since I parted with her 
at the Gape, have been distressing and ro- 

Her mother and herself had been persua- 
ded to remain at the Cape, after the evacua- 
tion, by a brother on whom they entirely de- 
pended, and who, seduced by the hope of 
making a fortune, staid and shared the melan- 
choly fate of the white inhabitants of that 
place. Coralie and her sister were concealed 
by an American merchant in his store, among 
sacks of coffee and boxes of sugar. Their 
mother had been led, with the rest of the wo- 
men, to the field of slaughter. 


The benevolent man who concealed these 
unfortunate girls at the risk of his life, after 
some weeks had elapsed, and the vigilance of 
the negroes a little relaxed, entreated the cap- 
tain of an English frigate to receive them on 
board his vessel, to which he readily agreed. 
Disguised in sailors' clothes, and carrying bas- 
kets of provisions on their heads, they follow- 
ed the captain to the sea side. As they ap- 
proached the guard placed on the wharf to ex- 
amine all that embarked, they trembled, and 
involuntarily drew back. But their brave pro- 
tector told them that it was too late to recede, 
and that he would defend them with his life. 
As the English were on the best terms with 
the negroes, the supposed boys were suffered 
to pass. On entering the ship the captain con- 
gratulated them on their escape, and Coralie, 
overpowered by a variety of sensations, faint- 
ed in the arms of her generous protector. 

A few days after, they sailed for Jamaica, 
On entering Port Royal, the frigate was dri- 
ven against a small vessel, and so damaged it, 
that it appeared to be sinking. The boat was 
instantly hoisted out, and the captain of the 


frigate went himself to the assistance of the 
sufferers. The passengers and crew jumped 
into the boat, and were making off, when the 
screams of a female were heard from below, 
and it was recollected that there was a sick 
lady in the cabin. The English captain de- 
scended, brought her up in his arms, and put 
her in the boat. Then, saying that the vessel 
was not so much injured as they imagined, 
ordered some of his people to assist him in 
saving many things that lay at hand. Four 
sailors jumped on board, and followed their 
commander to the cabin, where they had 
scarcely descended, when the vessel suddenly 
filled and sunk. They were irrecoverably 

Coralie, standing on the deck of the fri- 
gate, beheld this catastrophe, saw perish the 
man to whom she owed her life, and whose 
subsequent kindness had won her heart. 

The lady found in the sinking vessel was 
her mother, who had escaped almost miracu- 
lousljT^ from the Cape, fully persuaded that her 
daughters existed no longer. The joy of their 
meeting was damped by the melancholy fate 


of their deliverer, which has been universally 

The scenes of barbarity, which these girls 
have witnessed at the Cape, are almost incre- 
dible. The horror, however, which I felt on 
hearing an account of them, has been relieved 
by the relation of some more honourable to 
human nature. In the first days of the mas- 
sacre, when the negroes ran through the town 
killing all the white men they encountered, a 
Frenchman was dragged from the place of his 
concealment by a ruthless mulatto, who, draw- 
ing his sabre, bade him prepare to die. The 
trembling victim raised a supplicating look, 
and the murderer, letting fall his uplifted arm, 
asked if he had any money. He replied, that 
he had none ; but that if he would conduct 
him to the house of an American merchant, 
he might probably procure any sum he might 
require. The mulatto consented, and when 
they entered the house, the Frenchman with 
all the energy of one pleading for his life, en- 
treated the American to lend him a consider- 
able sum. The gentleman he addressed was 
too well acquainted with the villainy of the 


negroes to trust to their word. He told the 
mulatto, that he would give the two thousand 
dollars demanded, but not till the Frenchman 
was embarked in a vessel which was going to 
sail in a few days for Philadelphia, and en- 
tirely out of danger. The mulatto refused. 
The unfortunate Frenchman wept, and the 
American kept firm. While they were dis- 
puting, a girl of colour, who lived with the 
American, entered, and having learned the 
story, employed all her eloquence to make the 
mulatto relent. She sunk at his feet, and 
pressed his hands which were reeking with 
blood. Dear brother, she said, spare for my 
sake this unfortunate man. He never injured 
you ; nor will you derive any advantage from 
his death, and by saving him, you will acquire 
the sum you demand, and a claim to his gra- 
titude. She was beautiful; she wept, and 
beauty in tears has seldom been resisted. Yet 
this unrelenting savage did resist; and swore, 
with bitter oaths to pursue all w^hite men with 
unremitting fury. The girl, however, hung 
to him, repeated her solicitations, and offered 



liim, in addition to the sum proposed, all her 
trinkets, which were of considerable value. 

The mulatto, enraged, asked if the French- 
man was any thing to her? Nothing, she re- 
plied; I never saw him before; but to save 
the life of an innocent person how trifling 
would appear the sacrifice I offer. She con- 
tinued her entreaties in the most caressing 
tone, which for some time had no effect, when 
softening all at once, he said, I will not de- 
prive you of your trinkets, nor is it for the 
sum proposed that I relent, but for you alone, 
for to you I feel that I can refuse nothing. He 
shall be concealed, and guarded by myself till 
the moment of embarking; but, when he is 
out of danger, you must listen to me in your 

She heard him with horror; but, dissem- 
bling, said there would be always time enough 
to think of those concerns. She was then too 
much occupied by the object before her. 

The American, who stood by and heard 
this proposal, made to one to whom he was 
extremely attached, felt disposed to knock the 
fellow down, but the piteous aspect of the al- 


most expiring Frenchman withheld his hand. 
He gave the mulatto a note for the money he 
had demanded, on the conditions before men- 
tioned, and the Frenchman was faithfully con- 
cealed till the vessel was ready to sail, and then 

When he was gone, the mulatto called on 
the girl, and offering her the note, told her 
her that he had accepted it as a matter of form, 
but that he now gave it to her ; and reminded 
her of the promise she had made to listen to 
his wishes. Her lover entering at that mo- 
ment told him that the vessel was then out Of 
the harbour, and that his money was ready. 
He took it, and thus being in the power of the 
American gentleman, who had great weight 
with Dessalines, he probably thought it best 
to relinquish his projects on the charming Zu- 
line, for she heard of him no more. 

The same girl was the means of saving 
many others, and the accounts I have heard 
of her kindness and generosity oblige me to 
think of her with unqualified admiration^ 



Kingston, Jamaica* 

I pass my time agreeably enough here, 
though I am obliged to stay in a boarding 

house till madame L can be fixed in her 

own, A few days ago a Spanish sloop of war 
was captured by a British frigate, and brought 
into Jamaica. The officers were suffered to 
land, and came to lodge in the house where I 
stay. When called to dinner 1 was sui'prized 
at finding myself among a group of strangers. 
As the mistress of the house never dines at 

table, and madame L was abroad, I would 

have retreated, but curiosity prompted me to 

The Spanish captain is an elderly man of 
most respectable appearance. All the rest are 
young, full of spirits, and two of them remark- 
ably beautiful. Taking it for granted that I 



was French, and not imagining I could under- 
stand their language, as soon as they were 
seated at table they indulged very freely in 
their remarks on myself. One said I was not 
pretty; another, that I was interesting; ano- 
ther, that I resembled somebody he had seen 
before ; and one elegant young man, who sat 
next me, having brushed his arm against mine 
made in Spanish an apology, which I appear- 
ed not to understand. He then asked me if 
I spoke English? I shook my head ; and he 
observed to his companions, that he had never 
so much regretted his ignorance of the French. 
They laughed ; and he continued lamenting 
the impossibility of making himself under- 
stood. After dinner I withdrew, and having 
been engaged by Coralie to pass the evening 
at her house, I forgot the strangers, and 
thought of them no more till the next morn- 
ing at breakfast, where they were all assem- 
bled, and where madame L related to me 

an adventure she had met with the day before. 
She spoke English, and as I was answering 
her my eyes met those of the young officer, 
and his look covered me with confusion. Ah ! 


he said, you speak English, and were cruel 
enough to refuse holding converse with a 
stranger and a prisoner. I speak so little, I 
replied. No, no, he cried, your accent is not 
foreign; I could almost swear that it is your 
native language. He looked at the others 
with an ir of triumph; and the one who had 
said I was not pretty, observed, that he was 
glad I did not speak Spanish; but I under- 
stand it perfectly, I answered in the same Ian- 

He looked petrified; and the old captain 
was delighted. He made many inquiries after 
his friends at Cuba, with all of whom I was 
acquainted. The young officer who speaks 
English, is by birth an Irishman. He enter- 
ed the Spanish service at the age of fifteen; 
had been several years at Lima ; had return- 
ed to Europe, and was on his way to Vera 
Cruz when they were taken by the English. 
With him my heart claimed kindred, for in 
every Irishman I fancy I behold a brother and 
a friend. His manners are elegant and inte- 
resting beyond expression There is an ap- 
pearance of sadness in his face, which height- 


ens the interest his fine form creates ; and if I 
had an unoccupied heart, and he a heart to of- 
fer, I beheve we should soon forget that he is 
a prisoner and I a stranger ! 

I have learned from him, that on his arri- 
val at Lima, he was lodged in the house of a 
gentleman who had a beautiful daughter. She 
was a widow, though very young. The se- 
clusion in which the ladies of this county live 
rendred such a companion as Don Carlos 
doubly dangerous, and the beauty and sweet- 
ness of Donna Angelina, made an indelible 
impression on his heart. Their mutual passion 
was soon acknowledged ; but obstacles, which 
appeared insurmountable, seemed to deprive 
them even of hope. 

Angelina had inherited the immense for- 
tune left by her husband, on condition of re- 
maining a widow. Her father was very rich, 
but avarice was his ruling passion. He had 
sacriiiced his only child at the age of thirteen 
to an old man, merely because he was weal- 
thy, and there was no reason to expect that he 
would suiFer her to abandon the fortune she 
had so dearly acquired, and marr)^ a man who 

ST. DOMINGOr. 177 

had no inheritance but his sword. Though 
^hesc considerations cast a cloud over tlieir 
mutual prospects, they still cherished their 
mutual affection, and hoped that some fortu- 
nate event would at length render them happy. 
The father of Angelina never suspected the 
situation of his daughter's heart, and her in- 
tercourse with Don Carlos was without res- 
traint. Delightful moments of visionary hap- 
piness how quickly ye passed; delivering in 
your flight two victims to the gripe of despair ! 

A new viceroy arrived from Spain and 
Angelina was obliged to appear at a ball given 
to celebrate his entry into Lima. 

She danced with Don Carlos, and her 
beauty, eclipsing all other beauty, attracted 
universal notice, but particularly that of the 
viceroy, who went the next day to offer at her 
feet the homage of his adoration. She re-^ 
ceived him coldly, but the father was trans= 
ported with joy, and when, a few days after, 
the viceroy demanded her hand, w^ithout hesi- 
tation favoured his suit. Angelina declined, 
and acquainted him with the conditions on 
which she inherited her husband's wealth, and 


her resolution to remain a widow. He told 
her that his own fortune was more than suffi- 
cient to replace that he wished her to sacrifice, 
but her evident aversion raised a suspicion of 
other reasons than those she avowed, and his 
jealous watchfulness soon discovered her at- 
tachment to Don Carlos. He informed her 
father of his discovery, who, furious at seeing 
his hopes of aggrandizing his family thwarted 
by a boy, forbad all intercourse between them. 

The means employed by the viceroy to se- 
parate them were still more effectual. A ves- 
sel was on the point of sailing for Spain, and 
Don Carlos received orders to embark instant- 
ly to bear dispatches of importance to the 
court. Resistance would have been vain. He 
sailed without being permitted to see the ob- 
ject he had so long adored. 

When he arrived in Spain, he learned that 
his rival had taken every precaution to pre- 
vent his return to Lima. Fortunately he 
knew the heart of his Angelina, and felt as- 
sured that the hopes of that detested rival 
would never be crowned with success; nor 
was he disappointed. 

ST. DOMING©. 179 

She had been deprived by her father and 
the viceroy of the man she loved, but their 
power extended no farther. There was an 
asykim to which she could retreat from their 
tyranny; that asylum was a convent. She en- 
tered one, took the vows, and gave her im- 
mense fortune to the society of w^hich she be- 
came a member. 

On 'the eve of entering the convent she 
wrote to Don Carlos, informing him of her in- 
tention; of the impossibility of preserving her- 
self for him, and her determination never to 
belong to another. He received this letter the 
day on which he sailed for Vera Cruz, and I 
believe, does not regret being a prisoner, since 
he has found in the place of his captivity a kind 
being who listens to his tale of sorrows and 
seeks to pour the balm of consolation into his 
wounded heart. 

He amuses me continually with his stories 
of Lima; describing the splendour of its pa- 
laces, the magnificence of its churches, filled 
with golden saints and silver angels, and the 
beautiful women with which it abounds. He 
tells me there can be nothing more fascinating 


than their manners; nor more singular and 
picturesque than their dress, which consists of 
a petticoat, reaching no lower than the knee, 
and a veil that covers the head and waist, but 
through which a pretty face is often shewn in 
a most bewitching manner. At the same time 
I perceive that he talks on every subject with 
reluctance, except on that nearest his heart; 
and when speaking of this, he seems animat- 
ed by all the energy of despair. 

I have heard of Clara by a person just ar- 
rived from Cuba, and have written to her. 
My heart is torn with anxiety for her fate, and 
will remain a stranger to repose till I receive 
more satisfactory intelligence. I fear she was 
not born to be at ease. She lives continually 
in an ideal world. Her enthusiastic imagina- 
tion filled with forms which it creates at plea- 
sure, cherishes a romantic hope of visionary 
happiness which never can be realized. 

Yet with all my fine sentiments of correct- 
ness and propriety, and the duty of content and 
resignation, my heart refuses to condemn her 
for having left her husband. Never was there 
any thing more directly opposite than the soul 


of Clara, and that of the man to whom she was 
united. Their tempers, their dispositions, were 
absolutely incompatible. And should I aban- 
don this poor girl to misfortune? should I 
leave her to perish among strangers ? ah ! no, 
she is twined round my heait, and I love her 
with more than a sister's affection. As soon 
as I hear from her again, you shall be inform- 
ed of my intentions. If I can induce her to 
return with me to Philadelphia, in rejoining 
you I shall think myself no longer unhappy. 



To Clara. 

Kingston, Jamaica. 

I have received the message, sent me by 
Anselmo, my dear Clara, and my joy at hear- 
ing of your welfare, made me forget for a mo- 
ment, the many causes you have given me of 
complaint. Yet what more have I learned 
than that you exist ? of all that concerns you 
I remain ignorant. Unkind Clara ! thus you 
repay my friendship ! thus console me for all 
the solicitude I have felt for you ! To have 
staid with St. Louis, after you left him, was 
not possible, for he did not conceal his suspi- 
cions of my having been in your secret, nor 
could I find in Cuba an eligible retreat ; for 
all my friends were his, and all disposed to 
condemn you. I accepted therefore, with plea- 


sure, the offer made by Madame L ■, to 

take me with her to Jamaica. 

Write to me, my dear sister, immediately. 
Teli me every thing. Does not your heart 
require the affectionate sympathy it has been 
accustomed to receive from mine ? Can you 
hve without me ? — without me who have fok 
lowed you, and love you with an affection so 
tender? Dearest Ciara, speak, and I will fly 
to you ! Means shall be found to return to 
Philadelphia, where, in peaceful obscurity we 
may live, free from the cares which have tor- 
mented you, and filled myself with anxiety. 

Anselmo will be careful of your letter. 
Write fully, and remember that you are wri- 
ting to more than a sister ; to a friend, who 
loves you, who adores your virtues, and who 
pardons, while she v/eeps, your faults ! 





To Mary 

Bayam^ 20 leagues from St. Jago. 

I know your heart, my dear Mary ! On 
the affection which glows for me in that heart, 
I have counted for the pardon of my errors, 
and your letter convinces me that I have not 
been deceived. You know, for you witnessed, 
my domestic infelicity ; yet, hovv^ many of my 
pains did I not conceal, to spare you the an- 
guish of lamenting sorrovv^s which you could 
not alleviate ! 

St. Louis, after his arrival at St. Jago, had 
connected him.self with a company of game- 
sters, and vvdth them passed all his time. — 
Often returning at a late hour from the gam- 
ing table, he has treated me with the most 
brutal violence, — this you never knew; nor 

R 2 


many things which passed in tlie lonehness of 
my chamber, where, wholly in his power, I 
could only oppose to his brutality my tears and 
my sighs. To his intolerable and groundless 
jealousy at Cape Francois you were no stran- 
ger : it embittered my days. Since our arri- 
val in this island it increased. In every man 
that approached me he saw a rival ! and the 
more amiable the object, the more terrible 
w^ere his apprehensions. 

He became acquainted, at some of the 

haunts of gaming, with Don Alonzo de P 

and brought liim to our house, but, when his 
visits had been repeated two or three times, 
all the tortures of jealousy were awakened in 
the breast of St. Louis. 

If I received this young stranger with plea- 
sure, it was because I found him interesting. 
If I avoided him it was an acknowledgement 
of his power ! 

He had insisted on my learning the Spanish 
language, yet if I spoke in that language it was 
to express sentiments I sought to conceal from 
him. How often, in the bilterness of anguish, 
have I thought that the direst poverty would 


be preferable to the ease I had purchased at 
the expence of my peace 1 but alas ! the co- 
lour of my fate was fixed, — I was united to 
St. Louis by bonds which I had been taught 
to consider sacred, and, though my heart shud- 
dered at the life-long tie, yet I always recoiled 
with horror from the idea of breaking it. — 
That tie however is broken ; those bonds are 
dissolved 1 and there is no fate so dreadful to 
which I would not submit, rather than have 
them renewed. 

Believe me when I assure you that my 
flight was not premeditated. It is true, the elo- 
quent eyes of Don Alonzo often spoke vo- 
lumes, but I never appeared to understand 
their language, nor did a look of encourage- 
ment ever escape me. For some days previ- 
ous to my elopement the ill humour of St. 
Louis had been intolerable. My wearied soul 
sunk beneath the torments I endured and death 
would have been preferable to such a state of 
existence. The night before I left him he came 
home in a transport of fury, dragged me from 
my bed, said it was his intention to destroy me, 
and swore that he would render me horrible 


by rubbing aqua-fortis in my face. This last 
menace deprived me of the power of utterance; 
to kill me would have been a trifling evil, but 
to live disfigured, perhaps blind, was an in- 
sufferable idea and roused me to madness. I 
passed the night in speechless agony. The 
only thought I dwelt on was, how to escape 
from this monster, and, at break of day, I was 
still sitting, as if rendered motionless by his 
threats. From this stupor I was roused by 
his caresses, or rather by his brutal approach- 
es, for he always finds my person provoking, 
and often, whilst pouring on my head abuse 
which would seem dictated by the most vio- 
lent hatred, he has sought in my arms gratifi- 
cations which should be solicited with aflfec- 
tion, and granted to love alone. 

You must recollect my unusual sadness 
that day; for well do I remember the kind ef- 
forts you made to divert me. 

I awaited the approach of night with 
gloomy impatience, determined that the dawn 
of day should not find me beneath that hated 
roof. When I left you in the evening it was 
with difficulty I restrained my tears. My heai t 


was breaking at the idea of being separated 
from you, if not forever at least for a consider- 
able time, and the thought of the pain my flight 
would occasion vou almost determined me to 
relinquish it. 

But St. Louis was in my chamber, and his 
presence dispelled every idea, except that of 
avoiding it forever. After seeing m^e undress- 
ed, he left me, as usual, to pass the greatest 
part of the night abroad. His vigilant guard, 
the faithful Madelaine, lay down near the 
door of my apartment, and I, taking a book, 
appeared to read. At eleven o'clock I knew 
by her breathing that she was asleep. 

Taking off my shoes, I passed her softly — 
opened the door that leads into the garden, 
and was instantly in the street. 

The moments were precious, for I had the 
whole town to pass, in order to gain the road 
to Cobre^ where I intended to request an asy- 
lum of Madame V . 

I flew with the rapiMity of lightning, nor 
stopped to breathe till I had passed the town. 
Beginning to ascend the mountain, I paused, 
and leaning against a tree, reflected for a^mo- 


ment on the singularity of my situation. — 
Alone, at midnight, on the road to an obscure 
village, whose inhabitants are regarded as lit- 
tle better than a horde of banditti ! — Flying 
from a husband, whose pursuit I dreaded more 
than death; leaving behind me a sister, for 
whom my heart bled, but whom I could ne- 
ver think of involving in my precarious fate ! 

The night was calm. The town, which 
lies at the foot of the mountain, was buried 
in profound repose. The moon-beams glit- 
tered on the waves that were rolling in the 
bay, and shed their silvery lustre on the mo- 
ving branches of the palm trees. The silence 
was broken by the melodious voice of a bird, 
who sings only at this hour, and whose notes 
are said to be sweeter than those of the Euro- 
pean nightingale. As I ascended the moun- 
tain, the air became purer. Every tree in this 
delightful region is aromatic ; every breeze 
wafts prefumes ! I had six miles to walk, and 
wished to reach the village before day, yet I 
could not avoid frequently stopping to enjoy 
the delightful calm that reigned around me ! 

I knev/ that, as soon as I was missed, the 


tOwn would be diligently searched for me, but 
of the retreat I had chosen St. Louis could 
have no idea, for he was totally unacquainted 

with the residence of Madame V . To 

this lady I had rendered some essential servi- 
ces at the Cape, which gave me a claim on 
her friendship. She left that place before us, 
and on her arrival here, bought a little planta- 
tion in CohrCy where she lives in the greatest 
retirement. I had heard of her by accident, 
and thought it the surest retreat I could find. 
As the day broke I perceived the straggling 
huts which compose this village, and, ap- 
proaching the most comfortable one of the 
group, found to my great satisfaction, that it 
was inhabited by the lady I sought. She had 
just risen, and was opening the door as I drew 
near it. Her surprise at seeing me was so 
great, that she doubted for a moment the evi- 
dence of her senses ; but, seizing my hand, 
she led me to her chamber, where, pressed in 
her arms, I felt that I had found a friend, and 
the tears that flowed on her bosom were proofs 
of my gratefulness. 

I began to explain to her my situation. "I 


know it all !" she cried, *' you have escaped 
from your husband. My predictions are ve- 
rified, though a little later than I expected. — 
But where' ' continued she, ' ' is your sister?" 
I replied that my flight had not been preme- 
ditated, and that you had not been apprised of 
it. There was no necessity for giving her a 
reason for having left my husband. She had 
always been at a loss to find one for my stay- 
ing with him so long. The next considera- 
tion was my toilette. I was bare-headed, with- 
out stockings: — my shoes were torn to pieces 
by the ruggedness of the road, and I had no 
odier covering than a thin muslin morning 
gown. The kind friend, who received me, 
supplied me with clothes, and checked her ea- 
gerness to learn the particulars of my story till 
I had taken the repose I so much required. 

Towards evening she seated herself by my 
bedside, and I related to her all that I had suf- 
fered since she left me at the Cape. 

But when I spoke of the threat which had 
determined me to the step I had taken, she 
made an exclamation of horror. 

I told her that my intention was to remain 


concealed till the search after me was over, 
and then to embark for the continent. 

She approved the project, and said, that 
I could be no where in greater security than 
with her; for, though the village is only six 
miles from town, it is as much secluded as if 
it was in the midst of a desert, except at the 
feast of the holy Virgin which is celebrated 
once a year. 

The festival lasts nine days, and all the in- 
habitants of St. Jago come to assist at its cele- 
bration. Unfortunately the season of the feast 
was approashing, during which it would have 
been impossible for me to remain concealed in 
the village. However, as there was still time 
to consider, she bade me be tranquil, and pro- 
mised to find me a retreat. Two days after 
she went to town and at her return I learned 
that nothing was talked of but my elopement. 

St. Louis, in the first transports of his rage, 
has entered a complaint against Don Alonzo 
and, declaring that he had carried me off, had 
him imprisoned I 

It was feared this step would be attended 
with ill consequences, for this young Spaniard, 


being related to the bishop and some of the 
most distinguished famiUes, it was supposed 
the indignity of his imprisonment would be 
resented by them all ! 

Besides, he was entirely innocent of the 
charge exhibited against him, not having had 
the slightest idea of my flight 

This information filled me with alarm. I 
felt insecure so near the town and entreated 

madame V to indicate a more remote and 

safe asylum. 

She told me that she had a friend, twenty 
leagues from town, to whom she had often 
promised a visit; that the inconvenience of tra- 
velling in this barbarous country, had hitherto 
prevented her going, but that these considera- 
tions vanished before the idea of obliging me, 
and that the pleasure of making the journey 
in my company would be a sufficient induce- 

Two days were past in procuring horses 
and making preparations for our departure. 
In the evening we walked among the rocks, 
which surround the village, aud, had my heart 


been at ease, I should have wandered with 
dehght in these romantic regions. 

The place was once famous for its valua- 
ble copper mines, from which it takes its name, 
but they have been long abandoned. The inha- 
bitants, almost all mulattos, are in the last grade 
of poverty, and too indolent to make an exer- 
tion to procure themselves even the most ne- 
cessary comforts. Yet, in this abode of wretch- 
edness, there is a magnificent temple, dedica- 
ted to the blessed Virgin. Its ornaments and 
decorations are superb. The image of the 
Virgin, preserved in the temple, is said to 
be miraculous and performs often wonderful 
things. The faith of these people in her power 
is implicit. The site of the temple is pictures- 
que, and the scenery, that surrounds it, beauti- 
ful beyond description, standing near the sum- 
mit of a mountain, at the foot of which lies 
the village. You ascend to it by a winding 
road, and see its white turrets, at a great dis- 
tance, glittering beneath the palm trees that 
gracefully Wave over it. 

After passing through the miserable village 
and following the winding path through crag- 


gy cliffs, over ^barren rocks aud precipices 
which the eye dares not measure, the mind 
ahnost invokmtarily yields to the belief of su- 
pernatural agency. On entering the church 
the image of the Virgin, fancifully adorned 
and reposing on a bed of roses, appears like 
the presiding genius of the place. The waxen 
tapers, continually burning, the obscurity that 
reigns w^ithin, occasioned by the impenetrable 
branches of the trees which overshadow it, and 
the slow solemn tone of the organ, re-echoed 
by the surrounding rocks, fill the mind with 
awe ; and we pardon the superstitious faith of 
the ignorant votaries of this holy lady, cherish- 
ed as it is by every circumstance that can tend 
to make it indelible ! 

At the appointed time, before the dawn of 
day, our little cavalcade set out. Madame 

V and myself on horseback, preceded by 

a guide, and followed by a boy, leading two 
mules charged with provisions, and every 
thing requisite for the journey. We wore 
large straw hats, to defend us from the sun, 
with thick veils, according to the custom of 
the country. Leaving Cobre behind us, we 



ascended the mountain. The road passed 
through groves of majestic trees, intermingled 
with the orange and the hme, which being in 
blossom, the senses were almost overpowered 
by the odours which filled the air. We pro- 
ceeded slowly and silently.— I thought of you 
my dear sister ! — My tears flowed at the idea 
of your pain, and I trembled to think that I 
was not out of danger of being discovered. 

About eight o'clock our guide said it was 
time to breakfast, and, tying our horses, he 
struck a light, kindled a fire, and made cho- 
colate. The repast finished, we continued on 
our way through the same delightful country; 
still breathing the purest air, but without dis- 
covering any vestige of a human habitation. 

About noon we saw a little hut. The 
guide, alighting, half opened the door, say- 
ing ** May the holy virgin bless this house !" 
This salutation brought out a tall sallow man, 
who gravely taking his segar from his mouth, 
bowed ceremoniously, and bid us enter. Wc 
followed him, and saw, sitting on an ox hide, 
stretched on the ground, a woman, whose rag- 
ged garments scarcely answered the first pur- 

s 2 


poses of decency. She was suckling a squalid 
naked child, and two or three dirty children 
were lolling about, without being disturbed 
by the appearance of strangers. A hammock, 
suspended from the roof, was the only article 
of furniture in the house. Whilst the guide 
was unloading the mules to prepare our din- 
ner, I went out to seek a seat beneath some 
trees ; for the filth of the house, and the ap- 
pearance of its inhabitants filled me with dis- 

To my infinite astonishment, the plains 
which extended behind the house, as far as 
the eye could reach, were covered with innu- 
merable herds of cattle, and on enquiring of 
the guide to whom they belonged, I learned, 
with no less surprise, that our host was their 
master. Incredible as it may appear, this mi- 
serable looking being, whose abode resembled 
the den of poverty, is the owner of countless 
multitudes of cattle, and yet it was with the 
greatest difficulty that we could procure a lit- 
tle milk. 

A small piece of ground, where he raised 
tobacco enough for his own use, was the only 


vestige of cultivation we could discover. No- 
thing like vegetables or fruit could be seen. 
When they kill a beef, they skin it, and, cut- 
ting the flesh into long pieces about the thick- 
ness of a finger, they hang it on poles to dry 
in the sun ; and on this they live till it is gone, 
and then kill another. 

Sometimes they collect a number of cattle 
and drive them to town, in order to procure 
some of the most absolute necessaries of life. 
But this seldom happens, and never till urged 
by the most pressing want. As for bread, it 
is a luxury with which they are entirely unac- 
quainted. After dinner the guide, and the host, 
and all the family, lay down on the ground to 
sleep the siesta, which, you know no consider- 
ation would tempt a Spaniard to forget. Ma- 
dame V walked with me under the trees, 

near the house, and remarked the striking dif- 
ference between this country and St. Domingo. 
There, every inch of ground was in the highest 
state of cultivation, and every body was rich, 
here, the owners of vast territories are in the 
most abject poverty. 

This she ascribed to the different genius of 


the people, but I think unjustly, believing that 
it is entirely owing to their vicious government. 

After our guide had taken his nap he led 
up the horses, and bidding adieu to our hosts, 
we continued our journey. 
, We passed during the afternoon several 
habitations similar to the one where we dined. 
The same wretchedness; the same poverty 
exhibited itself, surrounded by troops of cat- 
tle, who bathed in plains of the most luxuriant 

As the sun declined our guide began to 
sing a litany to the Virgin, in which he was 
joined by the boy who followed us. The 
strain was sweet. 

" And round a holy calm diifusing 
In melancholy murmurs died away." 

At the close of day we stopped at a hut, 
where the guide told us we must pass the 
night, and I learned that we had come ten 
leagues, though we had advanced at a snail's 
pace. The hut we entered was inhabited by 
an old man who, retiring with the guide to an 
adjoining shed, left us the house to ourselves. 


The couch, which invited us to repose, was a 

hide laid on the ground. Madame V 

had brought sheets, and, spreading them on 
the hide, I soon sunk to rest. But my slum- 
bers were interrupted by a most unaccount- 
able noise, which seemed to issue from all 
parts of the room, not unlike the clashing of 
swords ; and, as I listened to discover what 
it was, a shriek from Madame V- in- 
creased my terror. In somids scarcely arti- 
eulate, she said a large cold animal had crept 
into her bosom, and in getting it out, it had 
seized her hand. 

Frightened to death I opened the door and 
called the guide, who discovered by his laugh* 
ing that he had foreseen our misfortune, and 
guarded against it by suspending his hammock 
from the branches of a tree. When I asked 
for a light to search for what had disturbed us, 
he said it was nothing but land crabs, which, 
at this season, descend in countless multitudes 
from the mountain, in order to lay their eggs 
on the sea shore. 

The ground was covered with them, and 
paths were worn by them down the sides of 


the mountain. They strike their claws to- 
gether as they move with a strange noise, and 
no obstacle turns them from their course. 
Had they not found a passage through the 
house they would have gone over it ; and one 

finding madame V in his way, had crept 

into her bosom. The master of the house 

gave his hammock to madame V -. I 

mounted in that of the guide; but the curio- 
sity excited by our visitors, rendered it im- 
possible for us to sleep. I asked the guide if 
it was common to see them in such numbers. 
He said that it was; and told me that the En- 
glish having some years ago made a descent 
on the island, had seized a Spaniard whom 
they found in a hut, and threatened to kill him 
if he would not shew them the way to St. 
Jago, which they had always wished to pos- 
sess, but which they could not approach by 
sea. The terrified Spaniard promised to com- 
ply. In the night, as they were encamped on 
the mountain, waiting for daylight in order to 
proceed, they heard a noise stealing through 
the thickets, like that of an approaching host. 
They asked their prisoner what it meant? he 


replied, that it could be nothing but a body of 
Spaniards who, apprized of their descent, were 
preparing to attack them. The noise increas- 
ing on all sides, the English, fearful of being 
surrounded, embarked, and in their haste suf- 
fered the prisoner to escape, who by his address 
probably prevented them from becoming mas- 
ters of the island, for the pretended host was 
nothing more than an army of these crabs. 

The man, I understand, received no re- 
ward; but the anniversary of this event is still 
celebrated ; and if the crabs have not been ca- 
nonized, they are at least spoken of with as 
much reverence as the sacred geese, to which 
Rome owed its preservation. 

During the night their noise prevented me 
effectually from sleeping. They appeared like 
a brown stream rolling over the surface of the 
earth. Towards morning they gradually dis- 
appeared, hiding themselves in holes during 
the day. 

At the first peep of dawn we set out, and 
arrived in the evening at Bay am. The friend 
of madame V received us with great cor- 
diality. She lost her husband soon after her 


arrival in this country. She is very handsome, 
and has an air of sadness which renders her 
highly interesting. She was informed of my 
story, and requested me to thuik myself at 
home in her house. 

It was determined that I should pass for a 
relation of her husband; and soothed by her 
kindness and attentions 1 began to hope that 
beneath her roof I should find repose. 

Madame V , after staying with us 

eight days, returned to Cobre, promising to 
inform herself of you, and to write me all that 
was passing. She wrote me immediately that 
you had sailed for Jamaica: that Don Alonzp 
was out of prison ; that he had commenced a 
suit against St. Louis for false imprisonment, 
and that the latter was actually confined. Don 
Alonzo is powerfully supported by the bishop 
and all his family, who have long been at va- 
riance with the governor, and gladly seek this 
opportunity of revenging themselves. She 
finally told me, my dear Mary, that she had 
discovered a young man who owned a small 
vessel in which he goes constantly to Jamaica, 
and that she had entreated him to find you, to 

ST. DOMING©. 205 

tell you that I am well, and to charge himself 
with your letter, not doubting but you would 
write. That kind letter I received }' esterday, 
and it has given me the first agreeable sensa- 
tion I have known since we parted. I am 
convinced of your affection for me, but do not 
let that affection hurry you into imprudencies 
which may perhaps betray me. Do not think 
of returning to St. Jago ; and, may I add, do 
not think of leaving Jamaica till I can join you. 
We will return to the continent together, and 
I hope together we shall he happy. Two or 
three doubloons, which I brought with me, 
prevent my being dependant on the lady in 
whose house I am, for any thing but her friend- 

I was struck with the resemblance of a 
Spanish lady who lives iiear us to Don Alon- 
zo, and found, on enquiring, that she is his 
sister. She spoke to me of her brother, but is 
as ignorant of his affairs as if he dwelt in the 

This place is the abode of poverty and dull- 
ness, yet the people are so hospitable that from 



the little they possess they can always spare 
something to offer to a stranger. And they 
are content with their lot — how many reasons 
have I not to be so with mine ! 



To Mary 

Bay am* 

I thank you a thousand times, my dear 
sister, for your affectionate letter, and for the 
parcel that accompanied it. I knew with what 
pleasure you would share with me all you pos- 
sess, and to be indebted to you adds to my 

What you have heard of St. Louis is true. 
The affair of Don Alonzo and himself was 
made up by the interposition of some of their 
mutual friends who represented him as half 
mad; and somebody having spread a report 
that I had sailed for the city of Santo Domin- 
go, he embarked immediately for that place. 
What he could think I should seek at Santo 
Domingo, I am at a loss to imagine. 


My retreat has been discovered, and though 
by one who would not betray me, yet he is the 
last person on earth, except St. Louis, to whom 
I could have wished it to be known. 

The husband of Donna Maria, the Spanish 
lady whom I mentioned to you before, had 
gone to St. Jago, some days previous to my 
arrival here. Having, as is the universal cus- 
tom, visited a gaming house, he had a dispute 
with a gambler of bad reputation, and on leav- 
ing the house received a blow with a poinard, 
which proved mortal. 

Such occurrences are too frequent to create 
much public interest, and it is considered use- 
less to seek the assassin. 

When the senora Maria expected the re- 
turn of her husband, she heard that he existed 
no longer. The news was brought by her bro- 
ther. Her house joins the one I live in. Hear- 
ing the most lamentable cries from her cham- 
ber I ran in. Judge of my surprise at seeing 
Don Alonzo. His, I believe, was not less, for 
abandoning his sister, he approached me ; but 
I was too much terrified at her situation, to 
attend to him. When infornied of the cause, 


I felt that in that moment she could not be 
consoled, and I saw also that the violence of 
her sorrow would soon exhaust itself. 

Don Alonzo sought an opportunity of speak- 
ing to me, which I avoided. Learning after- 
wards where I lived, he so ingratiated himself 
with madame St. Clair, that he received an in- 
vitation to her house, and in that house he now 
passes all his time. He has been the innocent 
cause of much of my suffering, yet I cannot 
find fault with his conduct ; and madame St. 
Clair, devoting much of her time to his widow- 
ed sister, I have no means of escaping from 
him. He has informed me of many of the fol- 
lies of St. Louis, of the obstinacy with which 
he affirmed that Don Alonzo had aided my 
flight, and of the means he had employed to 
discover me. And why, he sometimes asks, 
did you not suffer me to aid you? why did you 
not repose confidence in me? 

You know my dear Mary, how eloquent 
are his eyes ! you know the insinuating soft- 
ness of his voice ! Sometimes, when listening 
to him, I forget for a moment all I have suf- 

T 2 


fered, and almost persuade myself that a man 
can be sincere. 

The governor of Bayam is an Irish Spa- 
niard, at least he is of an Irish family, and was 
born in Spain. I have become acquainted 
with him since the arrival of Don Alonzo, and 
felt, the instant I beheld him, as if I was in the 
society of an old acquaintance. His Irish vi- 
vacity is a little tempered by Spanish gravity. 
He speaks English as if he had been raised in 
his own country, and his mind is stored with 
literary treasures. He has a handsome collec- 
tion of books, which he offered me. Judge of 
my delight at meeting with Shakspeare in the 
wilds of Cuba. 

What could have induced him to accept 
this sorry government I have not yet learned, 
but he certainly possesses talents which merit 
a more important employment, and his elegant 
manners would add lustre to the most distin- 
guished situation. He laughs heartily at his 
ragged subjects, by whom however he is re- 
garded as a father and a friend. He says with 
better laws they would be the best fellows in 


the world; but situated as they are, their indo- 
lence is their best security. 

We often make excursions in the beatiful 
environs of this place and dine beneath the 
shade of the palm tree, or the tall and graceful 
cocoa, which offers us in its fruit a delicious 
dessert, whilst the gaiety of the governor dif- 
fuses around us an indescribable charm. 

But my dear sister, think not that I forget 
you in these delightful scenes. On the con- 
trary I long to see you, and am hastening the 
moment of my departure. 

Madame St. Clair, seduced by the descrip- 
tion I have made of our peaceful country, and 
wearied of a place where she has known nothing 
but misfortune, where the talents she possesses 
are absolutely lost, intends going with me to 
Philadelphia, as soon as she can arrange her 
affairs, and has consented to accompany me 
to Kingston, from whence we can all sail to- 
gether. You will love her, I am sure, for her 
kindness to me; but, independently of that 
consideration, her beauty, the graceful sweet- 
ness of her manners, and her divine voice, 


render it impossible to behold or listen to her 
with indifference. 

The governor says, if he loses his two 
most amiable subjects, his little empire will 
not be worth keeping. Don Alonzo 

" Looks and sighs unutterable things," 

and sometimes hints, in broken accents, the 
passion he has felt for me since the first mo- 
ment he saw me, at all which I laugh. For 
me, henceforth all men are statues. I was so 
ill-fated as to meet that phenomenon a jealous 
Frenchman, and with my wounds still bleed-, 
ing, would I put my happiness in the power 
of a Spaniard? Ah! no, let me avoid the dan- 
gerous intercourse, let me fly to my sister ! 
Why are you so far removed from me ? why 
did you so hastily leave the island, where you 
knew I must be, and in a situation too in 
which your counsel, your support is doubly 

It will be impossible for me to leave Bay- 
am in less than a month. We shall sail for 
Kingston with Anselmo. Much precaution 
must be used, for I must embark from St. 

ST. DOMIT^GO. 213 

Jago, and if I was discovered, should certain- 
ly be arrested by the governor, who is exas- 
perated against me. Write to me, my dear 
girl, by the return of the vessel; and believe 
me that I wait with the utmost impatience for 
the moment that will reunite us. 



To Clara. 


Let me entreat you, my dear sister, to 
leave Bayam as soon as possible. I cannot 
describe the pain with which I heard of Don 
Alonzo being near you. You pass hours, 
days with him ; you talk of his eloquent eyes, 
his sweet voice. Ah ! fly, dearest creature, 
fly from the danger that surrounds you. Lis- 
ten not to that insinuating Spaniard. If you do 
you are irrecoverably lost. 

Why indeed am I not near you'? yet after 
your flight, to stay in Cuba was impossible, 
and my leaving it was, I believe, one of the 
principal reasons which determined St. Louis 
to leave it also : so far it was fortunate. My 
heart always acquitted you for having taken 


the resolution to abandon your home ; for 
though, as you say, I knew not all, I knew 
enough to awaken in my breast every sensa- 
tion of pity. Yet it is not sufficient that you 
are acquitted by a sister, w';ho will always be 
thought partial; and if you cannot conciliate ge- 
neral approbation, at least endeavour to avoid 
meriting general censure. Who that hears of 
your being at Bayam, in the house of the sis- 
ter of Don Alonzo, knowing that he had been 
publicly accused of having taken you off, and 
learns, that as soon as the affair was hushed up 
in St. Jago, that he went to Bayam, that he 
passes all his time in your society, that at 
home and abroad he is ever at your side, who 
can hear all this, and not believe that it was 
preconcerted ? Ah ! Clara, Clara, I believe 
that it was not, because I love you, and can- 
not think you would deceive me. But why 
stay a month, a week, a day, where you are ? 
Why not come to me when Anselmo returns ? 
when with me, my friendship, my affection, 
will soothe and console you. I will remove 
from your lacerated breast the thorns which 
have been planted there by the hand of misfor- 


tune. You shall forget your sorrows, and I 
will aid you against your own heart, for I be- 
lieve at present tfmt is your most dangerous 




To Mary i.^ 

You frighten me to death, my dear sister, 
with your apprehensions. You paint my situa- 
tion in terrifying colours ; yet could I forsee 
that I should be led into it, when alone and 
friendless I fled at midnight from a house 
where I suffered continual torture? Did I 
imagine that in Bayam I should become ac- 
quainted with Don Alonzo's sister, and that I 
should meet him in her house ? Sentence, I 
know, has been passed against me, and that 
sentence will be confirmed by what has hap- 
pened subsequent to my elopement. The tes-^ 
timony of my own heart will be of little avaiL 
But will you also join against me? I cannot 
believe it. Condemn me not, at least suspend 


all opinion till we meet, which will be in a 
fortnight. To avoid the danger of passmg 
through St. Jago, we go by land to a place 
called Portici, from whence we shall embark. 
The journey will be delightful. We intend 
making it on horseback. The governor and 
Don Alonzo will accompany us. Start not at 
this, for it cannot be otherwise; nor could I, 
by refusing his services, discover that I thought 
it dangerous to accept them. 

In my anxiety to see you, every moment 
seems an age, yet I feel something like re- 
gret at leaving this country. The friendli- 
ness of the people can never be forgotten. 
Here, as in Barracoa, they are poor but con- 
tented. They sip their chocolate, smoke a 
jsegar, and thrum the guitar undisturbed by 
care. Often, when reviewing the events of 
my past life, 1 wish that their calm destiny 
had been mii-^e; but alas ! how different has 
been my fate. 

I write this letter to prepare you for my ar- 
Tival. When Ansehno goes next, I go with 
him ; and, when I embrace my sister, I shall 
be happy. 

ST. DOMINGO.. 221 


Kingstoriy Jamaica. 

Clara, my dear friend, is at length arrived, 
I have held that truant girl to my heart, and 
have forgotten whilst embracing her all the re- 
proaches I intended to make, and which I 
thought she deserved. I cannot help loving 
her, though I approve not of all she does; but 
I will blame her fate rather than herself, for 
who can behold her and not believe that she is 
all goodness? who can witness the powers of 
her mind and withhold their admiration ^ 
Whatever subject may engage her attention, 
she seizes intuitively on what i^ true, and by 
a sort of mental magic, arrives instantaneous- 
ly at the point where, even very good heads, 
only meet her after a tedious process of rea- 
soning and reflection. Her memor}^, surer 
than records, perpetuates every occurrence. 



She accumulates knowledge while she laughs 
and plays : she steals from her friends the 
fruits of their application, and thus becoming 
possessed of their intellectual treasure, with- 
out the fatigue of study, she surprises them 
with ingenious combinations of their own ma= 
terials, and with results of which they did not 
dream. Her heart keeps a faithful account, 
not only of every word but of every look, of 
every movement of her friends, prompted by 
kindness and affection, and never is her socie- 
ty more delightful than in those moments of 
calm and sublime meditation, when her ge- 
nius surveys the past, or wanders through a 
fanciful and novel arrangement of the future. 
Who that thus knows Clara, and is sensible 
of her worth, can have known her husband, 
and condemn her? 

It is true, Clara is said to be a coquette, 
but have not ladies of superior talents and at- 
tractions, at all times and in all countries been 
subject to that censure ? unless indeed theirs was 
the rare fortune of becoming early in life attach- 
ed to a man equal or superior to themselves ! 
Attachments between such people last through 

3T. DOMINGO. 223 

life, and are always new. Love continues be- 
cause love has existed; interests create inte- 
rests ; parental are added to conjugal affec- 
tions; with the multiplicity of domestic ob- 
jects the number of domestic joys increase. 
In such a situation the heart is always occu- 
pied, and always full. For those who live in 
it their home is the world; their feelings, their 
powers, their talents are employed. They go 
into society as they take a ramble; it affords 
transient amusement, but becomes not a habit. 
Their thoughts, their wishes dwell at home, 
and they are good because they are happy. 
But if on the contrary a woman is disappoint- 
ed in the first object of her affections, or if se- 
parated from him she loved, fate connects her 
with an inferior being, to what can it lead ? 
You might as well expect to confine a spright- 
ly boy, in all the vigour of health to sedate in- 
action, as to prevent talents and beauty, thus 
circumstanced, from courting admiration. A 
feeling heart seeks for corresponding emo- 
tions ; and when a woman, like Clara, can fas- 
cinate, intoxicate, transport, and whilst un- 
happy is surrounded by seductive objects, she 



will become entangled, and be borne away by 
the rapidity of her own sensations, happy if 
she can stop short on the brink of destruction^ 

If Clara's husband had been in every re- 
pect worthy of her she would have been one 
of the best and happiest of human beings, but 
her good qualities were lost on him; and, 
though he might have made a very good hus- 
band to a woman of ordinary capacity, to Clara 
he became a tyrant. 

Sensible of the impossibility of her leaving 
him, he took it for granted that she bestowed 
on another those sentiments he could not hope 
to awaken himself. Yet Clara never deceived 
him. There is in her character a proud frank- 
ness Vv^hich renders her averse to, and unfit for 
intrigue. When at the Cape, she was not 
dazzled by splendor, though it courted her ac- 
ceptance ; nor could the ill-treatment of her 
husband force her to seek a refuge from it in 
the arms of a lover who had the means of pro- 
tecting her. At St. Jago his conduct became 
more insupportable, and when at length she 
fled from his house, alone and friendless, she 
was unseduced by love, but impelled by a re- 


pugnance for her husband which had reached 
its height, and could no longer be resisted. 

Delivered from the weight of this oppres- 
sive sentiment, she now enjoys a delightful 
tranquillity, which even the thought of many 
approaching struggles with difficulty and dis- 
tress, cannot disturb. 

In such a situation I am more than ever 
necessary to my sister; and, perhaps, it is the 
consciousness of this, that has given birth to 
many of the sentiments expressed in this letter. 

We have learned that St. Louis sailed from 
the city of Santo Domingo to France, from 
which I hope he may never return, 

Clara and myself will leave this for Phila- 
delphia, in the course of the ensuing week* 
There I hope we shall meet you ; and if I can 
only infuse into your bosom those sentiments 
for my sister which glow so warmly in my 
own, she will find in you a friend and a pro= 
tector, and we may still be happy. 



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